Lesbian couple wins bullying discrimination case

A former Chief Executive and her partner have successfully made a claim for discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation against their previous employer.

Leeds Employment Tribunal found in favour of Ms Paula Temple and Ms Stefanie Boulila and awarded them a total of over £80,000 in damages, following “cruel, oppressive and malicious” conduct by Future Arts Limited.

The claim was brought against several board members and the managing director of the not for profit social enterprise organisation. The case highlights that sexual orientation discrimination still exists in the workplace, and although awards for aggravated damages are uncommon, clearly the Employment Tribunal felt strongly enough about the circumstances of this case that they chose to award substantial damages.

There is perhaps a feeling that sexual orientation cases are hard to prove, and even harder to win, but the outcome of the Temple/Boulila case should give employees confidence that their concerns and claims will be taken seriously.

Ms Temple and Ms Boulila commented after the decision “we are very happy that our claim for justice was recognised by the Tribunal. There is a general belief that discrimination doesn’t happen anymore, even though it is an everyday reality in a lot of peoples lives. We are convinced that the number of cases brought forward do not reflect the real amount of incidences.”