A social worker, identified as A Yates in tribunal documents, recently lost her discrimination case against Lambeth Council, where she claimed she was terminated due to her Christian beliefs.
Her allegations included the assertion that she expressed disagreement with homosexuality and gay rights, referring to them as "evil and satanic" on her first day at work when she was given an ID badge with a rainbow lanyard.
A Yates also contended that her colleagues had “rolled their eyes” when she mentioned her church attendance and alleged she was excluded from meetings for not wearing the rainbow lanyard.
A Yates denied making the “evil and satanic” remarks, but the tribunal sided with her colleague’s version of events.
Judge Leith, overseeing the case, dismissed A Yates's claim that David Jennings, the interim head of services for the council's physical disabilities team, had rolled his eyes at her, as it was deemed unsubstantiated.
In a judgement, Judge Leith wrote: “We find that the interactions between the claimant and Mr Jennings were very limited. We prefer Mr Jennings’[s] evidence regarding this allegation, which was clear and consistent (in marked contrast to that of the claimant). We find that the claimant did not discuss her attendance at church with Mr Jennings, and that Mr Jennings did not roll his eyes at the claimant.”
A senior commissioner at Lambeth Council informed the tribunal that A Yates was terminated after reacting defensively when informed that she was not meeting her performance targets.
Subsequently, A Yates sent an email to the council's then-chief executive, Andrew Travers, attaching screenshots from David Jennings's personal Facebook page. She claimed these images mocked Christianity.
The email, titled "COMPLAINT AGAINST DAVID JENNINGS FOR DISCRIMINATION AGAINST ME FOR BEING A CHRISTIAN AND A BLACK WOMAN," contained pictures of David Jennings with his husband and a stylised image of Jesus with nails through his hands, accompanied by a caption, "Jesus getting his nails done”.
In January 2020, A Yates notified Acas, a public body specialising in workplace dispute resolution, of her intention to file a claim against the council.