News, Wit & Commentary for Lesbians
JIC Post: From Free RepublicBy Nicola WoolcockA lesbian shop worker sacked for throwing a bag of flour at a customer who called her a “filthy dyke” has won her case for unfair dismissal.Caroline Gardener snapped after the man became abusive when he was unable to find any lime cordial in the shop. She claimed that he pushed her, called her useless and told her: “Get your sex life sorted out.”Miss Gardener, 45, retaliated by throwing a packet of flour at the back of his head. When they went to the manager’s office to complain about each other’s conduct, Miss Gardener lunged at the customer.She told the tribunal: “I didn’t go for his throat, I just went for his collar because he had really upset me. When he called me a filthy dyke I had a pack of flour in my hand and, although I regret it now, I threw it at the back of his head. He then turned round and said, ‘You are a dyke and you’re going to get the sack’.”Miss Gardener was dismissed for violent and insulting behaviour after a disciplinary hearing in September last year. She took Booker Cash & Carry to an employment tribunal, claiming breach of contract, unfair dismissal and discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation.The tribunal panel ruled that Miss Gardener, of Eastleigh, Hampshire, had been unfairly dismissed; but that she had not been dismissed because of her sexuality and that Booker had not breached its contract of employment. Mark Broad, her solicitor, said: “It wasn’t an enthusiastic verdict for her but it was the right verdict.”Miss Gardener took her case to tribunal after an appeal against the disciplinary ruling was turned down. She told the tribunal: “I was devastated and I lost two stone in weight in five weeks. I couldn’t understand how the company’s attitude had changed so quickly.”She also claimed that she was discriminated against by a manager, Nicolas Burn. He told the hearing that he had been justified in sacking Miss Gardener and that the company had not treated her any differently because she was a lesbian.
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