Woman who was told to take her headphones off at work wins discrimination case – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Woman who was told to take her headphones off at work wins discrimination case

Misbah Hanif left her desk job at the Department of Work and Pensions in Stockton, Teesside, in late 2017 after suffering from depression and anxiety.

In a meeting with her supervisor to organise a return to work plan, Ms. Hanif asked if she could listen to music to relax during her shifts.

She said she used it as a coping mechanism to distract herself when she was around other people and found it difficult to control her emotions, adding that her GP thought it was a good idea.

Senior officials denied the request, citing the nature of her work, which required intense concentration and careful file preparation.

However, a labour court was informed that she and her supervisor were getting along well and agreed that Ms. Hanif can listen to music as long as she is careful not to get caught.

The panel learned that the relationship deteriorated in the following months before another presenting agent filed a complaint that it was difficult to communicate with Ms. Hanif because she was still wearing headphones.

Faced with this complaint, she was told to stop listening to music at work.

Ms. Hanif continued to disagree with her superiors and eventually filed a complaint with the Labour Court making various accusations that she was intimidated and abused due to her sexuality and disability.

The labor court ruled that wearing the headphones “deprived Ms. Hanif of a coping mechanism” and found that she was discriminated against.

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