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Secretary Wins Compensation Case For Constructive Dismissal

A secretary, formerly employed by the Welsh law firm of Jeffreys & Powell, has won a legal battle against her ex-employers for constructive dismissal after suffering years of taunts about her physical disability.

Janet Goodwin, 53, of Brecon, Powys, told the employment tribunal in Cardiff how she was the butt of office jokes in the law firm, due to a severe sciatica condition which causes her to walk with a limp.

Janet claimed that one of the senior partners, Barry Beck, would often follow her around the office, mimicking her pronounced limp and reducing her to tears by referring to her as “Peggy” or “Peg-leg”.

Despite Janet confronting the issue with Mr. Beck, the ill- treatment continued and encouraged the other partners at the law firm. Janet left her position at Jeffreys & Powell after four years when she could stand the insults no longer.

The employment tribunal upheld Janet’s claims for constructive dismissal and disability-related discrimination, and will determine the level of compensation at a later date.