Headache Or Migraine?
There is a great difference between a headache and a migraine and how you, as the boss, react when a told by an employee that they feel “a migraine coming on”.
If this should happen once in a while, the issue is easy to accept, if it is more frequent, there is a risk of impatience, but that can land the employer in trouble.
In one recent case a shop worker whose boss told her “tough” when she warned him that she was about to have a migraine, has won nearly £16,000 after she then suffered an attack that left her paralysed on the floor.
On this occasion, in April 2021, the woman‘s manager did not believe the employee was suffering from a migraine and accused her of lying about her symptoms because he thought she was hungover. She asked to go home when she started experiencing an “aura” — a warning of a migraine attack.
Told to go and to sit down in the stock room until she felt better, she became so unwell she had to lie on the floor for two hours.
Despite video surveillance in the stockroom, no medical assistance was offered. Taken home by a friend, she suffered a degree of paralysis. She was signed off work for two weeks but on return was told there were no shifts for her because of her health issues, and she was forced to resign.
The tribunal, held in Manchester, heard that the woman concerned had suffered from “intermittent chronic migraines” since 2003. Her consultant neurologist told the tribunal her condition had gradually deteriorated. Her symptoms evolved to include visual disturbance or loss of sight for up to 20 minutes, and numbness from the shoulders down, with weakness in both arms and legs, causing her to collapse. The tribunal heard that she suffered two migraine attacks at work in February 2021 and had to have time off work. Her boss “disapproved of her absence”.
The woman has won £15,998.96 after the tribunal ruled she was discriminated against because of her disability.
The Graham Agency, keeping you informed.