The Employment Equality (Sexual Orientation) Regulations 2003 protect employees from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientation. Although there have not been many cases based upon the Regulations, those that have been brought have been by gay employees.

Background

In 2005 Ms Legg accepted a job as a bouncer at a gay nightclub in Bournemouth and was promoted to Head of Security the following year. Shortly after the promotion her boss began to make derogatory comments including calling her a ' breeder'. Fellow door staff, all of whom were gay, refused to follow her instructions. In 2006 Ms Legg was sacked without warning following a dispute with a colleague.

The Tribunal awarded her £3000 for injury to feelings in terms of her harassment claim and £3222 for unfair dismissal (although they determined that she had not been dismissed on grounds of her heterosexuality).

Impact on employers

As far as we are aware, this is the first time that a "straight" employee has brought a claim of discrimination under the Regulations. This case serves as a reminder that the Regulations protect employees against any discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, whatever that orientation may be.