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NATIONAL: Tribunal supports worker.

A disabled woman who claimed she was forced to quit her job after her boss called her a "flid" and a "spaz" was discriminated against, an employment tribunal has ruled.

Gail Lewis, aged 39, told an earlier tribunal hearing she felt she could no longer work for Felixstowe shipping firm John Denny Agencies Ltd, after she was allegedly goaded about her disabled hand.

The tribunal has now ruled that she had been harassed and discriminated against, but it could not support her claim for constructive and unfair dismissal.

Mrs Lewis told a two-day hearing at Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, that the firm's managing director, John Denny, had called her "a stupid flid" after she spilt ink on her shirt.

She told Mr Denny he was "out of order", the tribunal heard, and she felt "sick, embarrassed and upset", by his remark, which he then repeated. The incident was alleged to have happened on May 20, 2005.

Mr Denny admitted using the word "flid" - slang for people born with deformities caused by the drug Thalidomide when taken by their mothers - in her presence, but stressed that the comment was not directed at her.

The tribunal will hold a further half-day hearing to determine costs.
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Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Mar 23, 2006
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