Veteran Disciplined By Bosses For Missing Work To Save Daughter’s Life Wins Claim
A British bomb disposal specialist is set to receive a large compensation after a tribunal found that his company harassed him after he didn’t show up for work so he could take his daughter to the hospital.
Steve Jones, who suffers from PTSD as a result of the time he spent in the army, was working as an aircraft mechanic for British Airways two years ago when his child almost lost her life to the same condition that killed his wife years before.
Jones told his manager that he was not at the job as he had been performing CPR on his little girl and was rushing her to the hospital, but after the incident, he was asked to attend a disciplinary hearing.
And even though he told his boss that his PTSD was “going into overdrive” after the incident, Jones was told he would be fired if he refused to go to the hearing. He has not gone back to his job since.
The tribunal’s decision
The tribunal found that Jones’ employer also neglected his PTSD condition a number of times before when he had missed work, including the time he was diagnosed and then verbally warned after taking sick leave for two months, the time when his father had a heart attack two years ago, and later in 2019 when he was asked to attend another disciplinary hearing after suffering a car accident and forgetting to tell his employers he needed to go to the hospital.
In addition, a judge heard that the man had gone through a number of PTSD episodes while working under his boss, including being handed a letter during a work appraisal that said he had “two different personalities” and a “profound negative impact on morale,” as per The Times.
According to judge Sam Moore, BA had harassed and discriminated against their employee by failing to show discretion. In his ruling he said:
“The tribunal was struck by a lack of empathy for the very difficult and upsetting situation Mr Jones was in during that period of almost losing both his father and daughter.”
In addition, the judge noted that BA was a signatory of the Armed Forces covenant, according to which “special consideration” is to be given to veterans when needed.
British Airways denies wrongdoing
A spokesperson for the company said:
“We are disappointed with the decision and believe that we have acted fairly and properly throughout. We are currently considering whether we appeal the decision.”
BA also denied that Jones was disciplined after missing work to save his child’s life, and noted it was for different absences in which he had not gone through the proper procedures to report them.
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