Woman told to work for a more ‘traditional’ firm wins age claim
Published: 3 November 2017
A woman who was told that she would be better off working for a more traditional firm has won her claim of age discrimination.
Carolina Gomes, aged 59, worked as an administrator for an
In 2015, management became dissatisfied with her work and
told her that she needed to cut out mistakes in letters and that she should not
focus so much on an old software system that she liked to use.
She had a meeting with a director in 2016 who suggested to
- “this marriage isn’t working” while showing her a letter which she had recently typed;
she would be “better suited to a traditional estate agency”;
- she should “sleep on it and decide what she wants to do”.
Ms Gomes had planned to work at the agency until she retired
but was upset after the meeting and took time off suffering from stress. She
then resigned and brought a claim for age discrimination and constructive
The Employment Tribunal ruled in her favour. It held that
the phrase “better suited to a traditional estate agency” was a reference to
her age and the other comments made her feel that she was no longer wanted at
Employment Judge Bedeau said: “We are of the view that it
was a reference to her being old fashioned, set in her ways as a Branch
Administrator and unlikely to change. She had adopted old fashioned practices
having regard to her length of service in the estate agency industry.
“The ‘traditional’ comment would not have been said to a
younger Branch Administrator or Assistant.”
It was decided that the level of compensation should be set
at a separate hearing.
Please contact Matthew Sigsworth in our Dispute Resolution
Team if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article
or any aspect of Employment Law.