Dyslexia and disability discrimination in the workplace

The coffee chain Starbucks made headline news this month for being on the wrong side of an interesting disability discrimination decision in the Employment Tribunal. 

Employee Meseret Kumulchew suffers from dyslexia and has trouble with telling the time, reading and writing. Ms Kumulchew was disciplined after being  accused of falsifying fridge and water temperatures on a duty roster. The Tribunal found that Starbucks, which knew of her medical condition, had failed to make reasonable adjustments and that Ms Kumulchew had been discriminated against and victimised because of her dyslexia.

The British Dyslexia Association estimate that 1 in 10 people have dyslexia, with many not being diagnosed. Not all people with dyslexia will be disabled for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010 as not everyone will have a condition which has a substantial effect on their ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities, but it is easy to imagine that many will be suffering in silence to the detriment of themselves and the business.

For more information on any of the issues above, or if you’d like help with addressing disability discrimination and making reasonable adjustments, give one of our employment experts a call on 0113 201 4900 for a free, initial consultation.

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