Woman with mental illness wins discrimination case

A woman who was sacked from her job as a marketing manager
because she had manic depression has won a discrimination case
against her former employers.

An employment tribunal hearing in London found that the Rapport
Group had discriminated against Colleen Melanophy under the
Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

The firm had dismissed Melanophy while she was in hospital
receiving treatment for her disability, which she normally managed
with medication, after her work performance had temporarily

The tribunal found that the Rapport Group had failed to
understand Melanophy’s condition, had acted “hastily and
prematurely” and had treated her unequally because of her

Disability Rights Commission chairperson Bert Massie, who backed
Melanophy’s case, said: “Thousands of people with manic depression
hold down good jobs successfully and bosses need to be sensitive to
the particular impact of an employee’s disability and respond

He added: “Employers have every right to expect high performance
but it does not make business sense to sack people hastily. This
case shows that employers are putting themselves at risk of
litigation if they do so.”

Melanophy said: “My legal team and the DRC gave me the
confidence to challenge my employer and it demonstrates that no
business can operate beyond the law when it comes to dealing with
an individual who has a disability in the workplace.”

Meanwhile, Worcestershire Council has agreed to increase a
disabled woman’s community care package after it was taken to the
high court by her half-sister.

Sally Harris took the local authority to the high court after
claiming it reduced the one-to-one home care her half-sister Wendy
Kells received by 33 days a year.

After last minute negotiations outside the court, Worcestershire
Council agreed to provide Kells with 16 days a year additional
care. Harris will have to provide care for the remaining days.

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