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Worker Fired For Refusing To Sign Confidentiality Agreement Loses Discrimination Case

You will have seen lots of news of about so called “gagging orders” in recent months that may affect you as an employee and a recent case has shed a light on the issue again.

At an Employment Tribunal a former employee lost a complaint that she had was discriminated against and fired for refusing to sign a Confidentiality Agreement.

The former  employee had claimed that her dismissal was “against her philosophical belief” for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 s.10(2).

The tribunal, however, rejected her claim of direct discrimination on the basis that her dismissal was due to her failure to sign the agreement and not because of her philosophical beliefs, of which the employer had no knowledge.

It also dismissed her claim of indirect discrimination on the basis that the provision, criterion or practice (PCP) in question, namely the requirement to sign the agreement or be dismissed, was not shown to have put other persons sharing her belief at a disadvantage. It also found that, in any case, the defence of justification under s.19(2)(d) of the Act applied.

The complaint was taken to the Court of Appeal, which upheld the tribunal’s decision.

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