New cases have considered indirect discrimination claims by someone without the protected characteristic, associative victimisation, and allowing a company to claim for discrimination due to someone else’s age.
For claims of direct discrimination and harassment (but not reasonable adjustments), it has been understood for some years now that it need not be the claimant who has a protected characteristic under the Equality Act. For example in Coleman v Attridge Law, 2008, ECJ a mother was able to claim for alleged direct discrimination and harassment at work because of the disability of her child. See Discrimination by association and by perception.
There have been various new developments recently:
- the EU Court of Justice has allowed a claim for indirect discrimination even by someone who did not share the relevant racial origin, but suffered the same disadvantage, see Indirect discrimination by association;
- there are indications from an EAT case, Thompson v London Central Bus Co, that it is possible to claim associative victimisation, where the claimant is victimised because of somone else’s protected act, see Victimisation by association.
Also, using the concept of ‘discrimination by association’, in EAD Solicitors v Abrams, the EAT held that a company could claim for direct discrimination because of the age of an individual. See Discrimination by association and by perception>EqA claim by company.