A UK employer provided a negative employment reference because an employee who had been fired had filed a discrimination claim. Was this retaliation, or as it is known in the UK, “victimization,” under The Equality Act 2010?
No, said the UK courts – the law does not cover post-employment acts of the employer, even acts of victimisation. This is contrary to US anti-discrimination laws.
The employee has been given leave to further appeal the case, since it appears that relevant precedent is scarce. The blog Disability Discrimination Newsletter from a UK law firm stated today that “The general consensus among practitioners is that post-employment victimisation is important and needs protection. It appears that its omission from the Act may simply be a drafting error as both national and EU case law provides for this protection. Surely it was not Parliament’s intention to exclude this protection?”