Ince & Co has been hit with a sex and disability discrimination claim from a former reinsurance lawyer who left the firm last April.
Ramit Hacco-Cohn, who was dismissed by Ince & Co in April 2004 for alleged gross misconduct, claims that her former firm repeatedly failed to make adjustments for her disability and after discovering she was pregnant sacked her unlawfully.
Hacco-Cohn, who suffers from dyslexia, secured an important step in her battle when the Woburn Place Employment Tribunal ruled on 2 February that she was disabled within the meaning of the Disability Discrimination Act.
Hacco-Cohn alleges that when she returned to work after a back injury and upon Ince & Co discovering she was pregnant, the firm replaced her usual workload with elementary menial tasks. She also alleges that Ince & Co removed her proofreading support, which was essential because of her dyslexia.
Meanwhile, Ince & Co alleges breaches of confidentiality because Hacco-Cohn asked her husband, a former Berwin Leighton Paisner lawyer, for help with proofreading and grammar.
However, Daniel Cohn argued: “My wife is dyslexic and turned to me for help with proofreading. I helped her purely in my capacity as her husband.”
Russell Jones litigation partner Paul Daniels, who is advising Hacco-Cohn, said: “[Ince & Co] has acted in breach of employment law designed to protect staff from such discrimination and unreasonable working practices.”
A spokesperson for Ince & Co said: “It would be inappropriate to comment, except to say that we have only had two days of a 10-day hearing. It is surprising that Russell Jones & Walker have chosen to comment at an early stage. No evidence has yet been heard on the discrimination and unfair dismissal issues which are before the tribunal.”