Emily worked for a large supermarket in the warehouse. In her interview she explained she suffered from asthma and wouldn’t be able to work in the freezer/chiller rooms as this exacerbated her condition and would induce an asthma attack. Her employer assured her that this wouldn’t be a problem and she started her job working on the beer and wine section. She was happy in her job and took her inhaler once a day for the first 4 months. Then one day she was asked to work in the freezer room. She explained to her supervisor about her asthma and how she will have an attack if she is forced to work in the freezer room. She even showed the supervisor her inhaler. Her supervisor spoke to the manager who directed Emily to work in the Freezer room or to go home until she could provide medical evidence of her disability.
So Emily went home, went straight to the doctors and provided a doctors note explaining she suffers from asthma and that she cannot work in those cold conditions. She passed this to her manager the next day. However, they appeared to ignore her letters from the doctor and forced her to work in the conditions. This induced an asthma attack and again Emily had to go home as she couldn’t breathe. She produced a further doctor’s note and her doctor advised not to return to work unless her employer could confirm they wouldn’t force her to work in the freezer room. She has been off sick 2 months and has submitted 2 grievances about the way she has been treated less favourably. However her sick pay is about to stop and her employer still haven’t done anything.
We wrote a letter to her employer advising of the reasonable adjustments they could make and reminding them of their duty to do so. We listed a number of areas of the store Emily could work in, and has worked in previously which would cause little disruption to the work force and at no cost to the employer. We also assisted Emily to submit a claim for disability discrimination online to the Employment Tribunal as the employer seemed to ignore any requests.