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Considering legal action

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by xtra, Jul 14, 2011.

  1. xtra

    xtra New commenter

    Cutting a very long story short here but I'm considering takin legal action against my school for breach of duty of care, constructive dismissal, bullying, harassment, defamation of character and libel. Tried union action... Useless! Been advised to take legal action but I'm unsure of success rates of this type of action in schools, as most examples i jave found are from the private sector. Has anyone been through something similar? can anybody advise me on the best solicitors/firms to go for?
  2. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    I should make my previous post clearer as I misread the situation.
    You cannot have contingency fees (the %) in the civil law suits. You can, of course, have them for the employment tribunal parts. Sorry.
    I have asked for my previous response to be pulled to avoid poor advice being given.
  3. I employed a solicitor who was excellent but I settled out of court. You will need a water tight case and nerves of steel. I can give you the name if would help? Depends where you are too.
    I can sympathise but do not be fooled. It will be tough.
  4. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    There are inaccuracies here. Harassment is a breach of the 1997 Protection from Harassment Act and a criminal offence.
    If you win in a contingency-fee case, the other side pays the costs, not you!
  5. Sorry to quibble, but this is not correct - 1997 Protection from Harassment Act was originally enacted to make stalking illegal. The Equality Act 2010 is a consolidation measure that integrates an array of disparate legislation and strengthens the law on discrimination. I agree with e-Luddite's comment about contingency cases - very few lawyers would consider them unless they were very confident they would win. And yes, the losing side picks up court costs, but the winning lawyer usually takes 1/3 of any settlement awarded )ostensibly to even out losing cases.
  6. Crowbob

    Crowbob Senior commenter

    Sorry to quibble but this is not correct. Costs in an Employment Tribunal are only rarely awarded (only around 400 cost awards were made in the year 09-10). The Tribunal only has limited powers to issue cost awards.
  7. I was talking about court costs, as in litigation. Not ET costs
  8. Gardening Leaves

    Gardening Leaves New commenter

    Whilst I pray that I am always ready to concede when I am mistaken, I believe I need to quibble with your quibbling here!
    You are quite correct that the 1997 Protection from Harassment Act was originally enacted to make stalking illegal. However, in March 2005 the court of appeal confirmed that the law could be applied to workplace bullying and that, furthermore, employers were vicariously liable for any bullying of their employees. The relevant case law is Majrowski vs Guys and St Thomas' NHS Trust.
    The Equality Act 2010 does, indeed, consolidate and strengthen the law on discrimination. It holds that discrimination on grounds of, for example, race, gender or disability, amounts to bullying. However, not all cases of harassment are as a consequence of discrimination. The 1997 PfHA is therefore key in such cases.

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