Another Age Discrimination Serial Litigant (And a Clear Judgement for Employers)
No sooner did we report on the case of John Berry, serial litigant using age discrimination laws, when another case comes to our attention.
Miss M Keane, an experienced accountant in her early 50’s, applied for accountancy jobs that advertised for “recently qualified”, and when she failed to get an interview (and in some instances, even before she received a decision for her application), she launched claims for age discrimination.
The case first came to public attention in November 2008 (see The Telegraph and London Evening Standard), when Miss Keane lost an employment tribunal, the respondent employers arguing successfully that her shoddy applications were not genuine applications.
Miss Keane didn’t give up, and appealed to the Employment Appeals Tribunals. The case was heard last December, and the written judgement was published in the last few days.
For any employers facing similar threats and, concerned about the cost of defending these, contemplating an out of court settlement, the judgement is very comfortable reading (search for Keane v Investigo and Others). The EAT has agreed that applications have to be genuine – the applicant having an interest in the job – before they could be found to have suffered a detriment. If applicants are applying with no genuine interest in the vacancy, but simply with intentions to pursue a claim for age (or probably any type of) discrimination, they will have no grounds to bring a claim.