EOC Gives Legal Assistance in a Disability Discrimination Case
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has today (28 January 2021) issued legal proceedings under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance (DDO), Cap. 487 in the District Court, on behalf of a person (the Claimant) who previously worked for a company (the Respondent) as an officer carrying out clerical and accounting duties.
The Claimant had been suffering from neck pain for a long time and was diagnosed with cervical spondylosis and radiculopathy (collectively referred to as the “disability”). Upon medical advice, she decided to take sick leave to attend physiotherapy for the disability. She then informed her supervisor about her need to take physiotherapy two times a week and was dismissed merely 5 days shortly afterwards. She believes the dismissal was a result of disability discrimination in that the Respondent terminated her employment on the ground of her disability and/or her need to take sick leave to attend physiotherapy sessions.
The DDO protects persons with disability against discrimination, harassment and vilification. Under the DDO, it is unlawful for an employer to dismiss an employee on the ground of the employee’s disability or for the fact that the employee takes sick leave as a result of the disability.
By taking this case to the court, the EOC hopes to raise public awareness and remind employers that disability discrimination in the workplace is unlawful and employers should provide reasonable accommodation for employees with disabilities.
Equal Opportunities Commission
28 January 2021