Starbucks employee wins dyslexia discrimination case

22 February 2016

A woman with dyslexia has won a disability discrimination case against her employer Starbucks after she was accused of falsifying documents.

BBC News reported that a tribunal found Meseret Kumulchew had been discriminated against after making mistakes due to her difficulties with reading, writing and telling the time. She was given lesser duties at her branch in London and told to retrain, which left her feeling suicidal.

Starbucks said it was in discussions about providing more workplace support.

The judgement against Starbucks was made in mid-December, and there will now be a separate hearing to determine any compensation.

As a supervisor at Starbucks at Clapham Junction, in south-west London, Ms Kumulchew was responsible for taking the temperature of fridges and water at specific times and entering the results in a duty roster. She was accused of falsifying the documents after mistakenly entering wrong information.

Acas provides guidance for employers on equality and discrimination. The Equality Act protects employees from discrimination - direct, including by association and by perception, indirect, harassment and victimisation - because of disability. For example, the dismissal of an employee because they are dyslexic could be potentially discriminatory.