Meseret Kumulchew, a supervisor at Starbucks, successfully sued the company for disability discrimination after they accused her of falsifying records. Starbucks rejected her explanation that the discrepancies in her records were errors due to her dyslexia and as a result reduced Ms Kumulchew’s duties and told her that she needed to retrain. She told BBC News that their actions caused her such distress she considered taking her own life.
Whilst the precise details of the judgment are not yet clear, there are a number of important lessons that employers should take away from the headline:
There are important lessons for employers arising from the employment tribunal decision in the case of Meseret Kumulchew against her employer Starbucks. Firstly, it is an important reminder to all employers that employees with dyslexia can be classed as disabled pursuant to the provisions of the Equality Act 2010. Secondly, the case highlights the duty placed on all employers to make reasonable adjustments when dealing with staff with dyslexia. Thirdly, and more generally, it emphasises the need for employers to exercise a degree of caution and to carry out a thorough investigation when alleging dishonest or fraudulent behaviour on the part of an employee