A Man Goes On Sick Leave For 15 Years, Later Sues His Company For Not Giving Him A Pay Hike

It only makes sense to take your company to court if they have denied you equal pay or opportunity, haven’t delivered what they had promised, and have not provided you with yearly pay hikes.

Well, this person was also not satisfied with his company and decided to sue the company on grounds of discrimination and not increasing his salary in the last 15 years. However, his plea got dismissed. Here why.

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Back in the year 2000, a person named Ian Clifford started working for Lotus Development, which was later acquired by software giant IBM in the United Kingdom. After working for a couple of years, he went on sick leave in 2008.

Clifford continued to be ‘medically retired’ till 2013 and filed a grievance. He claimed that he hadn’t received a pay rise or holiday pay for the past five years, reported CNBC TV 18. Soon after his complaint, the company came to an agreement and put him under their ‘disability plan’.

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As per this plan, the company was reportedly supposed to pay him 75 per cent of his agreed earnings, amounting to £54,028 (roughly Rs 55.34 lakh) per year till the age of 65. So, the senior IT worker could remain an IBM employee with ‘no obligation to work’.

But, Clifford thought that the company was discriminating against him on the basis of his disability and not hiking his salary as they did to other employees. Taking inflation into consideration, he thought he was being cheated by the company by paying a fixed amount. Hence, he sued his company in 2022, reported Times Now.

However, while hearing the case, Judge Paul Housego in his verdict highlighted that the disability plan was put in place to provide security for only those employees who were unable to work.

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Dismissing Clifford’s claim, the judge said that he was given a ‘very substantial benefit’ and ‘favourable treatment’.

“Active employees may get pay rises, but inactive employees do not, is a difference, but is not, in my judgement, a detriment caused by something arising from disability.”

He further stated, “The complaint is in fact that the benefit of being an inactive employee on the plan is not generous enough because the payments have been at a fixed level since April 6, 2013, now 10 years, and may remain so.”

“The claim is that the absence of an increase in salary is disability discrimination because it is less favourable treatment than afforded to those not disabled. This contention is not sustainable because only the disabled can benefit from the plan. It is not disability discrimination that the plan is not even more generous.”

The judge also said that even if the substantial benefit was valued at half over 30 years, it remained a significant sum. Do you second with the final decision of the judge?

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