Eversheds wins first EAT religious discrimination hearing

Eversheds wins first EAT religious discrimination hearing” />Eversheds has won the first-ever Employment Appeals Tribunal (EAT) hearing on religious discrimination, nearly three years after new laws first came into force.

Associate Rehan Akram acted for West Coast Trains, the employers of Mohsin Mohmed, a Muslim man who claimed he was dismissed from his job because of his beard and had therefore suffered religious discrimination.

Mohmed’s case was heard by an employment tribunal in 2004, which dismissed the claim. He appealed and the EAT heard the case on 30 June this year, with judgment handed down last week (30 August).

The EAT found that West Coast Trains had not discriminated against Mohmed because of his beard, but had instead dismissed him due to “lack of enthusiasm”. This is despite the “beard issue” recurring several times during the months that Mohmed was employed at Euston Station as a customer services assistant.

The company had agreed that Mohmed’s beard, worn for religious reasons, was permissible if kept neatly trimmed and at a fist’s length.

Eversheds’ Akram instructed Old Square Chambers’ Jennifer Eady. Claire McCann of Cloisters was instructed by Richard Leong of the London Discrimination Unit for Mohmed.