A recent case reported widely in the media found Starbucks guilty of disability discrimination for failing to provide appropriate reasonable adjustments for an employee with dyslexia. Meseret Kumulchew, who was working as a supervisor in a SW London branch of Starbucks, had informed her employer that her dyslexia meant she had problems with words and numbers but when she recorded incorrect information by mistake, she was accused of falsifying documents and was demoted. The Tribunal hearing the case ruled that Ms Kumulchew had been victimised by Starbucks.

Adults with (a history of) speech and language difficulties often have similar difficulties to people with dyslexia – with reading, writing, numbers, following instructions and so on. As this case demonstrates, it is important to remember that ongoing difficulties such as these are classed as a disability and, if you are affected and in work, your employer has important obligations to you under the Equality Act. These include the requirement not to treat you unfairly because of your disability, and also to provide appropriate reasonable adjustments to help remove the barriers you face.

For more information, see the information about disability discrimination on the website of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

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