Thursday, 25 June 2009

Who's got the look?

US retailer Abercrombie & Fitch are in the headlines this week, as they defend a high profile disability discrimination claim. Twenty two year old Ms Dean, who was born with her left forearm missing, was granted permission to wear a plain white cardigan to cover the join of her prosthetic arm by the employer, but was subsequently told her white cardigan broke the "look" policy of the shop and was sent from the shop floor to work in the stockroom. It is alleged she had to continue to work in the stock room until the winter look policy came in. The claim continues and a Tribunal will decide if Ms Dean suffered disability discrimination.

All fashionistas out there should be aware that employers should not discriminate against workers and applicants on the grounds of disability, should not treat them less favourably for a reason related to disability, should not victimise them and they also have a duty to make reasonable adjustments – otherwise they could find themselves in a rather unglamorous Tribunal.