Ethical Veganism - A Protected Class
An employment tribunal has held that ethical veganism can amount to a philosophical belief that is capable of protection under discrimintion law.
Ethical vegans not only follow a vegan diet, but also oppose the use of animals for any purpose, such as wearing fur or animal testing.
The tribunal held that the beliefs held by Jordi Casamitjana, an "ethical vegan" were genuinely held by the Claimant in this case and met the necessary criteria.
The case will now proceed to a full hearing to decide whether the Claimant was unfairly dismissed on the grounds of discrimination because of his beliefs. If successful, the case will establish that the belief entitles ethical vegans protection from discrimination.
For employers - In light of this ruling, employers may want to consider reviewing how they support ethical vegans in their organisation, and if any changes are required. It should be remembered that no employee should feel mistreated at work.
As vegans abstain from the consumption of animal products employers should pay close attention to the food on offer in any staff canteen or pre-arranged business lunches, ensuring there are always vegan options available.