Successful claim for disability discrimination


An employee has been successful in bringing her claim for disability discrimination against Starbucks after problems arising from her dyslexia resulted in her making errors in the course of her duties.

The facts: The Claimant worked as a supervisor at a South London branch of Starbucks. As part of her duties she was required to record details of water and refrigerator temperatures onto a duty roster.

When the Claimant made several mistakes on work forms, she was accused of falsifying documents. Her manager lessened her duties and told her that she would have to retrain. Such comments left the claimant in a vulnerable state and feeling suicidal.

The Employment Tribunal found that that Starbucks had failed to make reasonable adjustments for the claimant’s disability and that they had discriminated against her because of the effects of her disability. The employment tribunal also concluded that the claimant had been victimised by her employers.

A hearing to determine the level of compensation that will be awarded to the claimant will take place later this year.

Points to note

Dyslexia is a common learning difficulty that can cause problems with reading, writing and spelling. It is a condition that is capable of constituting a physical impairment within the Equality Act 2010. What this means for employers is that if you are made aware that an employee suffers from dyslexia then you may be under a duty to make reasonable adjustments for them in the workplace, this can be something as simple as providing support and supervision with reading and writing or perhaps even providing verbal instructions as opposed to written.

If you are concerned by any of the issues in this article or would like further advice then please do not hesitate to contact a member of the team.