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Lesbians win compensation for sexual discrimination

A lesbian couple who were found to have been humiliated by jokes and sexual taunts by their work colleagues are to receive compensation after a tribunal ruled they suffered discrimination.

Beth Moules and Sharleen Amos, from Swindon, were taunted that they had a “meat sandwich” threesome with their manager.

A Workmate at the Aquatec Rainsoft firm based in Soundwell, Bristol, also was said to have branded the pair’s sexuality “disgusting”, saying that “he didn’t know how they could do it”.

The tribunal heard that the couple’s boss, Stephen Baker-Joy, had told them to stop complaining because “lesbians had never and would never suffer in the way that Jews had”.

A panel at the Bristol Employment Tribunal ruled the pair were each discriminated against on the ground of their sexual orientation and unfairly dismissed by Aquatec. It ordered the company must pay each woman £5,000 for hurt feelings in respect of their discrimination claims.

But each is now set to be awarded up to £63,000 in further damages for unfair dismissal. In its judgment, the tribunal ruled that the jibes amounted to discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation.

The women’s full damages awards are due to be fixed by the tribunal at a later date.

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