HR Strange But True!
May 04, 2006

An employment tribunal in Bristol, England, has ruled against a deputy head teacher who said the city discriminated against her by failing to replace an office chair that made embarrassing sounds when she used it, the Scotsman (United Kingdom) reports.

In a complaint to the employment tribunal, Sue Storer said a pattern of gender discrimination included a refusal to replace her office chair that made "farting" noises, which she said had become a joke around the school and embarrassed her in front of parents and students. She argued that two male colleagues received replacement chairs while she never did.

She quit her job in 2005 and later filed a constructive discharge and gender discrimination complaint with the employment tribunal, seeking £1 million (about $1.84 million in the United States ).

However, the employment tribunal rejected her arguments, saying that she had the authority to purchase a less embarrassing chair.

"The claimant asserts that the provision to her two male colleagues of new chairs... was discriminatory," wrote tribunal chair Michael Griffiths. "We find that by reason of her status and seniority, she was free to arrange for the purchase of such necessary office equipment as she from time to time required, without prior reference to any of her colleagues.''

Source: The Scotsman

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