Ethical veganism is now protected by employment law

Ethical veganism is now protected by employment law

Ethical veganism is now protected by employment law

Ethical veganism is a “philosophical belief” and so is protected in law according to an employment tribunal ruling.  The case was brought by vegan Jordi Casamitjana who claims he was sacked by the League against Cruel Sports because of his ethical veganism.  His employer claimed he was dismissed for gross misconduct.  At a preliminary hearing in the Norwich Employment Tribunal, the judge ruled that ethical veganism should fall under the under the Equality Act but has yet to rule on the substantive case of unfair dismissal.

Dismissed for gross miscounduct

The case will focus upon his claim that he was sacked by the employer after disclosing that it invested pension funds in firms which were involved in animal testing.  Mr Casamitjana says that when he drew his boss’s attention to the pension fund investments, they did nothing so he informed colleagues and claims he was sacked as a result.

Vegan or ethical vegan?

Vegans eat a plant based diet but ethical vegans try to exclude all forms of animal exploitation.  For example, they avoid wearing or buying clothing made from wool or leather or toiletries from companies who carry out animal testing. The tribunal’s ruling means that ethical vegans are now entitled to protection from discrimination.  “Religion or belief” is one of the 9 protected characteristics covered by the Equality Act 2010.  The judge ruled that ethical veganism qualifies as a philosophical belief after satisfying several tests, including that it is worthy of respect in a democratic society, not incompatible with human dignity and not conflicting with the fundamental rights of others.  The case will now go forward to a full tribunal hearing.

If you are concerned you are being discriminated at work or have any other employment law questions please talk to Paul Grindley on 0113 320 5000 or email paulg@winstonsolicitors.co.uk 

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