Lesbian was victim of gay estate agency's discrimination

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The Independent Online

Brighton employment tribunal upheld Corrina Slow's claim for unfair dismissal and ordered the estate agency to pay her £13,000 compensation

Ms Slow, who lives with her bus driver girlfriend in Brighton, East Sussex, lost her job managing the Hove lettings office when she was 16 weeks' pregnant because her boss wanted to avoid having to give her maternity pay, the panel found.

The 27-year-old, whose daughter, Edith, is now three months old, was unfairly dismissed and sexually discriminated against by Kevin Newman of 2Let, the tribunal ruled.

Ms Slow said: "This is an important case that will extend the rights of gays and lesbians in the workplace."

Charles Twiss, chairman of Brighton employment tribunal, said yesterday: "Taking all the evidence into account, we are satisfied beyond any reasonable doubt that the reason for the dismissal was pregnancy."

She became pregnant after receiving artificial insemination at a private clinic. Mr Newman had claimed he only found out about the pregnancy the day after he fired her, which he said he did because of her alleged poor performance.

But the ruling said: "We are quite satisfied that Mr Newman knew the claimant was pregnant. He had to get rid of [her] to avoid ... paying maternity pay."

The tribunal highlighted the fact that he had recently promoted her with a £4,000 pay rise and use of a car.

Ms Slow was awarded £7,000 for loss of earnings, £5,000 for injury to feelings and £1,000 for aggravated damages.