Female Engineer Settles Sex Discrimination Case
Published 17 October 2019. By Kym Horner
A female engineer, who had been employed at an electrical engineering firm, has settled a sex discrimination case against her former employer for £5,000.
Amy Verner was employed as a design engineer at Grants Electrical Services. She worked on various projects which involved testing at both client premises and her own office. Ms Verner was also the only female engineer on her team.
After getting married and returning back to work, Ms Verner alleged that she was treated less favourably because her colleagues assumed that she would soon be pregnant. Ms Verner stated that colleagues made negative comments suggesting that she would be ‘dumping’ work responsibilities on them by having a baby.
Ms Verner also stated that upon return to work, projects that she had been previously working on had been allocated to other engineers, and she was assigned office-based projects only.
As a result, Ms Verner raised these concerns with the her employer as she felt the comments made to her by her colleagues were unfair and unjustified. Ms Verner alleges that her employer did not take her concerns seriously and that she was forced to seek employment elsewhere.
The Equality Commission supported Ms Verner and her case was settled for £5,000 without admission of liability.
Ms Verner commented: “I enjoyed my job and the projects I worked on, but was shocked by comments made to me before and after my wedding which suggested there was a sense of resentment that I would soon be pregnant. I was neither pregnant nor planning to become pregnant.”
Sancha O’Neill, Employment solicitor at MKB Law, comments: “We are happy to hear about the outcome for Ms Verner given the comments she states she was subjected to that were discriminatory in nature, alongside the fact that her role appeared to change on her return to work after her marriage.
Unfortunately, many women in the workplace have probably experienced comments and environments similar to this, and employers should be mindful of such instances and address any concerns accordingly. Please contact myself or my colleagues in MKB Law’s Employment department if you require advice, assistance or feel you have been subject to direct or indirect discriminatory treatment.”
This article is for general guidance only and should not be regarded as a substitute for professional legal advice. Source: Equality Commission