Employment lawyers are warning that ‘Gingerism’ could be the next form of discrimination. In a recent case, red-haired waitress Sarah Primmer was awarded nearly £18,000 in compensation, after her boss had taunted her about the colour of her hair.
If the lawyers are right, many companies could be wide open for a claim. According to a recent survey in Personnel Today, many people think that having a laugh at red-heads is just acceptable workplace banter. It’s something that goes on all the time. But years ago, taunts about skin colour were considered to be just part of the rough-and-tumble of the workplace. Attitudes change and there is nothing like a few high-profile court cases for making people think again.
Sarah Primmer’s case was based on sexual harassment but aggrieved red-heads might find other grounds on which to bring a claim. As a friend of mine, who happens to be a ginger haired HR manager, pointed out, someone might bring a case on the basis of indirect racial discrimination, given that the vast majority of redheads are of white, north European extraction.
Some ginger people, and a lot of employment lawyers, might be about to make large amounts of money.
Anyway, it gives me an excuse to post what would otherwise be a totally gratuitous picture of model Kate Dillon.