harassment  | 

Former B&M Belfast store worker settles disability discrimination case for £5,000

Harvey claimed he was told he was useless and no other employer would take him
Harvey Spence settled his case for £5,000 with B&M

Harvey Spence settled his case for £5,000 with B&M

Jamie McDowell

A former worker at a B&M store in east Belfast has settled a disability discrimination case against his former employer.

Harvey Spence (19), who has a learning disability, took legal action against his former employer claiming he suffered harassment from colleagues at the store where he worked for 18 months.

He claimed he’d been the victim of derogatory remarks and was excluded from conversations as well as being told he was “useless” and that no other company would want him because of his disability.

Harvey settled the case this week for £5,000 without B&M admitting liability.

Harvey, who’s case was supported by the Equality Commission, said: "I liked going out to work and earning my own money, it was important to me.

"After a year in my job, some new people I worked with started being horrible to me and it became really hard and very upsetting. I dreaded going to work.

"Some of the people I worked with wouldn't speak to me at all and others would tell me to go away by saying horrible things, they used really bad language and called me names.

"I found it hard to stand up for myself and in the end I had to leave my job as it was making me feel very sick.

"I don't know if I'll ever be able to get another job because I'm really afraid other people will treat me like that again."

The chief executive of the Equality Commission, Dr Evelyn Collins, said: "Harvey's experience at work highlights that much remains to be done to challenge barriers to employment for many disabled people and to ensure they can secure and retain paid employment.

"Employers have a responsibility to provide and promote a good and harmonious working environment.

"Harvey did not experience that.

"He felt he had no option but to go off on sick leave and then it appears that no-one contacted him to check if he was OK or to offer support."

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