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Employee wins compensation for being ‘too gay’

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A London bartender has been awarded thousands of pounds in compensation after being victimised by his employers because of his sexuality.

Charles Lisboa, ex-Assistant Manager at the Pembroke Arms in Earl’s Court, suffered from insomnia and needed counselling after his management’s behaviour forced him to resign in January 2009.

As the pub changed hands in December 2008, Mr Lisboa was forced to erect a sign outside stating “This is Not a Gay Pub” and forced to reprimand a gay couple for displaying their affection in public.

London Central Employment Tribunal heard how the new management wanted to “de-gay” the pub and would regularly refer to homosexuals within the establishment as “queens”.

“No one should have to put up with repeated abuse and prejudice in the workplace,” Mr Lisboa said.

“Bosses calling people queens was very offensive language to me, I didn’t know how to handle it. I was in total disbelief when I was asked to write outside that the pub wasn’t a gay pub — in such a gay-friendly city. I didn’t feel able to work there any more.”

Realpubs, which now owns the Pembroke Arms, told the tribunal that changes and comments were not meant to be malicious and that management wanted to attract a wider section of the community through the pub’s doors.

But tribunal judges discounted Realpub’s excuse and ordered the firm to pay £4,593.75 in compensation to Mr Lisboa.

Speaking after the case, the bartender’s solicitor claimed the landmark case showed that when an establishment wishes to challenge the sexuality of its clientele, it “must not do so in a way that discriminates against gay clients”.


Written by Andrew Hodges

March 3, 2010 at 11:26 am

Posted in Comment, LinkedIn

Tagged with , , ,

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