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Taking Dyslexia Seriously
You may have heard in the news that a Starbucks employee has won a disability discrimination case against her employer, after problems arising from her dyslexia led her to make mistakes. The British Dyslexia Association estimates that as many as 1 in 10 people suffer from dyslexic difficulties, (although many have not been formally diagnosed) so employers need to be aware of the implications of this case.

The employment tribunal found that the employee had been discriminated against and accused of falsifying documents. She worked as a supervisor at a Starbucks branch, where she was required to enter a record of refrigerator and water temperatures at specific times on a duty roster. After recording incorrect information her employer accused her of falsifying documents. Her dyslexia meant she had difficulties with reading, writing, and telling the time.

She had been given lesser duties and told to retrain, which she said left her feeling suicidal. Her employer was well aware that she was dyslexic, so the Tribunal found that Starbucks had failed to make reasonable adjustments for her disability and had discriminated against her because of the effects of her dyslexia. It also found she had been victimised by her employer and there appeared to be little or no knowledge or understanding of equality issues.

If you are concerned about the issues raised by this case and you think you may need to consider make adjustments for your employees, please get in touch.
Posted on 19 Nov 2016


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