30 March 2001 -
£5,600 has been awarded to a woman truck driver from Grangemouth, Scotland in compensation
for injury to feelings and loss of earnings in a sex discrimination case brought against a
former employer. She had been made redundant after she complained about a male colleague who
refused to work with her because she was a woman.
Yvonne McLeod had worked for Drummond Distribution as a driver of 38 tonne trucks. She claimed
that other workers had begun making derogatory remarks to her shortly after she had been made
a permanent employee by the company. One particular driver had frequently been rude to her,
saying that she was 'doing a man out of a job' and refusing to work with her. Ms McLeod
complaiined to two of the company's directors, but no action was taken. She was made redundant
in December 1999 when she returned to work after a period of sick leave.
According to Ms McLeod:
"I am an experienced driver, but because I'm a woman one of the other drivers tried to
make my life difficult. I just ignored the comments or laughed them off for quite a while,
but when he refused to drive with me his attitude began to affect other drivers' work too
and I felt I had to do something about it. I just wanted to be able to get on with my job,
but not long after making a complaint I was made redundant."
Julie Mellor, Chair of the Equal Opportunities Commission, said:
"There is no place for outdated ideas about what is 'women's work' and what is 'men's work'
in today's labour market. Employers need to ensure that women and men are judged purely on
their ability to carry out a job, rather than on their sex. Giving everyone the opportunity
to fulfil their potential in the field of work they choose does not only benefit individuals,
it also gives employers more choice and so boosts the British economy.
"This case also demonstrates how important it is that employers take complaints of
discrimination very seriously and ensure that anyone who has made a complaint is not
victimised as a result."