A 14-year-old who was dismissed for being too young to cope with the ‘severity’ of her job has won her claim of age discrimination.
Joanne Stronach Head of Employment and HR reports on this recent case.
The case involved Miss H Cassidy, who had a Saturday job at Daimler Foundation’s café.
Her duties included serving customers, working the till and cleaning.
After her first shift, which was described as being a ‘form of trial, her front of house manager, Mr Easy, said that he was pleased with her work.
Cassidy believed that this meant she had passed the trial and would begin working on Saturdays between 10am and 2pm, with the possibility of picking up extra shifts if they became available.
During her second shift, her employer’s partner came into the café and said that Cassidy was too young to be working behind the till.
Easy said that Cassidy could go home early as the café wasn’t busy.
Shortly afterwards Easy phoned Cassidy to tell her that she would not be able to continue working at the café as the accountant had said she was too young to work there for health and safety reasons.
Easy went on to tell Cassidy that she hadn’t done anything wrong.
Cassidy was upset and brought a claim of age discrimination against the café.
She told the Employment Tribunal that she had been enjoying her work. Easy said that the work had been too severe and stressful, and that Cassidy wasn’t coping with the demands of the job.
He said he had not realised how young Cassidy was.
This assertion was undermined by the fact she had provided her age on her initial application form and, after the initial application had been successful, had also provided her date of birth on a starter’s form.
The tribunal ruled in Cassidy’s favour. Easy had mentioned that her age was a factor when dismissing her and had failed to prove that her dismissal was not due to her age.
Cassidy was awarded £3,000 compensation for injury to feelings and direct discrimination.
For more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law please contact Joanne on 01228 516666.