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Disability Discrimination - Caselaw Update

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This article is about an Employment Appeal Tribunal judgment given in January 2018.

It involved a woman called Ms Lofty who was dismissed from her job. The employer was called Hamis. Hamis trades under the name of First Cafe. Ms Lofty sued for disability discrimination, and was successful.

The Equality Act 2010 provides a definition of what amounts to a disability. Ms Lofty had a pre-cancerous lesion which could result in skin cancer. First Cafe argued that, because the lesion was “pre-cancerous” Ms Lofty did not suffer from cancer and was therefore not disabled for the purposes of the Equality Act.

The court held that “pre-cancer” does not mean there is no cancer for the purposes of the Equality Act 2010.

The conclusion is that employers should be cautious about concluding that a pre-cancerous condition does not mean cancer.