Extract from Rodman Pearce's website
Rodman Pearce creating its website
An employment tribunal has ordered a firm to pay £17,000 to a solicitor who was unfairly dismissed following cancer treatment.
An employment tribunal ruled in March that Rodman Pearce Solicitors had made "substantive" failures when it dismissed Elona Onibere, after she was diagnosed with cancer and took time off work.
The tribunal found that Onibere, a housing solicitor, suffered discrimination from the Luton firm, as she was sacked without consultation or an exploration of possible alternatives. And the firm had failed to grant the solicitor an appeal hearing and had only sent a notice of termination letter to Onibere after dismissing her.
Onibere's cancer diagnosis meant that she was a disabled person as defined in the Equality Act 2010. The firm's owner, Ademola Akilo, had told the tribunal that he did not realise at the time that Onibere was disabled under the Act. He acknowledged that, with hindsight, he should have taken specialist employment advice (although the firm claims to be "experts" in that area), and he apologised to Onibere for "any distress he may have caused".
At a remedy hearing, the tribunal has now ordered Rodman Pearce Solicitors to pay Onibere a total of £17,000. The award includes £11,000 for injury to feelings in respect of the solicitor's disability discrimination claims, plus interest of over £2,000.
The sum also consists of about £3,000 for the firm unfairly and wrongfully dismissing Onibere and around £700 in respect of two weeks' loss of pay.
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