Straight bouncer wins damages from gay club
A heterosexual woman has been awarded more than £6,000 in damages from Bournemouth’s largest gay nightclub.
Sharon Legg, a 33-year-old mum of four, took her case to an employment tribunal claiming unfair dismissal after being sacked without warning.
“I made this complaint for gay people, straight people, anyone who has ever been harassed. I’m like a bulldog, I don’t let go,” Ms Legg told the Dorset Echo .
She told the tribunal she was called ‘breeder’ and ‘straight’ by her manager, Scott Rhodes, while working as a bouncer at Dream Nightclub.
She was dismissed without warning after a dispute with another bouncer.
Under the Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003, it is illegal to treat someone less favourably because of their sexual orientation.
Sarah Courtney, Legg’s barrister, described the case as an unusual one and she had not come across a similar one.
She told the Dorset Echo “legislation was brought in to prevent gay and lesbian people from being harassed.”
Ms Legg, who is now working at Irish-themed pub O’Neills, said she received support from gay friends.
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“I just think there’s a few individuals who have a preference for their own kind. The tribunal could find no reason why I should have lost my job, ” she told the paper.
Ms Legg was employed by Rubyz Limited.
The director of the company, Nick King, is a Tory councillor and member of Bournemouth borough council’s cabinet.
He also is the party’s prospective parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Mid Dorset and North Poole.
He told the Dorset Echo “We accept that she was dismissed due to proper procedures not being followed. We are considering appealing. We have a zero tolerance attitude towards any kind of discrimination.”
Ms Legg, who was awarded £3,222 for unfair dismissal and a further £3,000 for injured feelings, said, “I honestly didn’t care about money. I told my solicitor I didn’t care if I got 5p. She said she did because she would get 1p.”