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Gay postman ‘was called effeminate and girly by manager’

PinkNews Staff Writer May 8, 2009
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A gay postman is suing the Royal Mail for £25,000, claiming his line manager bullied him and discriminated against him.

Liam Black, 22, told a tribunal in Ashford he had been called “effeminate”, “girly” and “bitchy” by his line manager Warren Taylor.

In a meeting in April last year, Mr Taylor had called Mr Black “gay and very effeminate” and said that he had a “girly relationship” with colleague Danielle Haynes.

The meeting had been a bullying and harassment hearing held after Mr Black and Ms Haynes, who were previously friends, had an argument.

Mr Black, from Chatham, Kent, said he discovered the comments several months later on a transcript of the meeting.

Speaking at the hearing, he said: “As a gay man I found this statement shocking and offensive and was astonished that such a comment could be made in an interview in my workplace about me without me knowing or having the opportunity to respond.

“This was unacceptable and amounted to a homophobic remark which was not challenged.”
Mr Taylor told the tribunal he had used the words but had not meant to offend Mr Black and had made an effort not to appear “un-PC”.

He said: “During the interview I tried to put the situation into context. I mentioned Liam was gay – I wanted to clarify the situation.

“I was aware he was homosexual but this had no bearing on how I treated him. I have used the words girly and bitchy towards a heterosexual man before.

“I used the word girly because that was the nature of his relationship with Danielle Haynes – they were always at each other’s sides giggling.”

Mr Black, who has been signed off work with stress, is suing Royal Mail for £25,000 for constructive dismissal and sexual discrimination.

The tribunal panel will decide the outcome of the case in 28 days.

Related topics: Employment

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