Employers should ensure managers do not treat individuals less favourably because allegations of discrimination have been made, whether by the individuals themselves or others.
Individuals may be able to bring a victimisation claim where they are subjected to detriment because of a third party's 'protected act' (ie, because the third party has made a discrimination allegation). The employment tribunal in Thompson v London Central Bus Company accepted that, although the Equality Act only expressly prohibits detriment because of the victim's protected act, it should be read purposively to comply with EU law to encompass detriment because of a third party's protected act. This was not challenged before the EAT, which was asked to consider if a particular type of association between victim and third party was necessary (here the link was one of being a work colleague and fellow union member, with the victim claiming to have suffered detriment after reporting to his manager a conversation among those colleagues alleging discrimination). The EAT ruled that an 'associative' claim does not depend on there being a particular relationship between the claimant and the third party; the issue is whether, on the facts, the third party's protect act was the reason for the detriment to the claimant.
This ruling comes hot on the heels of the ECJ expanding the scope of 'associative' indirect discrimination in CHEZ.