Disability Discrimination by Association

June 2, 2010

A case between Coleman v Attridge Law has been settled out of court. The case centred on Sharon Coleman who cares for her disabled son. Sharon claimed that disability discrimination by association because she claimed employer said she was lazy and was using her son as an excuse to alter her working conditions after she tries to take time off work to look after him.

The European Court of Justice, in 2008, confirmed that Mrs Coleman’s situation was covered by the European Union Framework Directive. The Employment Appeal Tribunal agreed that Sharon Coleman had been discriminated against by Attridge Law. The Advocate General agreed with Mrs Coleman that what is important is that disability, in this case, the disability of her son, was used as the reason for her treatment, and that it is not necessary for the person who is the object of the discrimination to be disabled.

The Equality Act 2010 includes a clause relating to discrimination by association.