A PREGNANT woman is overlooked for promotion, a worker is sacked because they are gay, a sick employee is not supported at work.
These are all real life cases successfully fought by the Chester-based Cheshire, Halton and Warrington Race and Equality Centre which has expanded from its original role of simply dealing with race discrimination cases.
Case worker Pamela Nsofor is keen to spread the word that she and her colleagues are there to help if someone feels they have been discriminated against in their daily life
Pamela, a qualified lawyer, said: “We want to raise awareness of what we do.
“People think all we do is race discrimination cases, we still do that, but that’s not all.”
She added: “For most people getting legal help can be very expensive but as a charity we are able to offer this legal advice completely free of charge.
“Most people don’t know where to start but if someone feels they have been discriminated against we have the expertise about the necessary procedures and can advise them as to whether they have got a claim.”
She said sometimes a letter to an employer could resolve matters without recourse to court. At other times the objective opinion, having assessed all the facts, may be the person was not discriminated against.
Pamela explained: “Sometimes it’s good for them to go back to work with the right attitude because at least they know they are not being discriminated against.”
A common complaint is among workers with a disability because employers have a duty to make reasonable adjustments to enable the person to carry out their tasks.
One such case, lodged as a disability discrimination case, involved a Chester-based teaching assistant diagnosed with incurable bone cancer.
The school claimed it was unable to put reasonable adjustments in place to allow her to continue working, but the case was settled in the client’s favour at an employment tribunal.
Pamela, a married mum of four from Ellesmere Port who is originally from Nigeria, is pleased to report she had never experienced racism in the UK because of her skin colour.
Anyone wishing to access the service can pop into the office at 92 Lower Watergate Street, telephone 01244 400730 or visit the website: www.chawrec.org.uk.