Unhappy paralegal refused discrimination claim rerun

Employment dispute: No prospect of successful reconsideration

An employment tribunal has refused to reconsider a decision that comprehensively rejected a disability discrimination claim brought by a paralegal who worked for well-known personal injury firm Ralli.

Employment Judge Batten said Celina Stott’s application for reconsideration “largely expresses her dismay and disagreement with the conclusion that her claim should be dismissed”.

He continued: “Despite the points raised in her application, there is no reasonable prospect of the claimant establishing that the tribunal made an error of law, or that any of the conclusions on the facts were perverse.

“Such contentions are in any event better addressed in an appeal than by way of reconsideration.”

Ms Stott was recruited at the end of September 2017, but before the end of her three-month probationary period, the firm decided to terminate her employment, although it did not tell her until after Christmas.

Following her departure, Ms Stott made multiple discrimination claims against the law firm, along with harassment and a personal injury claim for stress and injury, although they were narrowed down before trial to six complaints linked to her mental health.

The tribunal found as a fact that “at no time prior to her dismissal” did the paralegal disclose her impairment to the law firm, nor was there “anything within the CV” to suggest that periods of unemployment were the result of ill-health, mental impairment or disability.

Rather, she was “simply not performing at the standard expected of her”. The tribunal found that anyone in Ms Stott’s position who had made the number of errors she had would probably have had their probationary period terminated.

The original tribunal criticised the law firm’s failure to check qualifications and references before the paralegal started work in the personal injury department, a failure it acknowledged, saying it had since tightened up checks on job applicants.

The claim was against Ralli Ltd, the personal injury firm based in Sale, Cheshire, as opposed to the Manchester-based commercial firm Ralli Solicitors.

The two firms were once one, and each has three partners, two of whom – Stephen Fox and Adrian Anderson – are in common.

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