Realpub discriminated against gay employee, finds tribunal

25 February 2010 by
Realpub discriminated against gay employee, finds tribunal

Pub operator Realpubs has been forced to pay a former employee thousands of pounds in compensation after a tribunal ruled that he had been discriminated against because he was gay.

Charles Lisboa, ex-assistant manager of former gay pub the Pembroke Arms in Earls Court, London, complained that he was asked to reprimand a gay couple for their behaviour as the new management tried to "de-gay" the establishment after it changed hands in December 2008.

He was also asked to put a sign outside the pub which read: "This is not a gay pub."

Lisboa resigned from his job and had to have counselling. It took him a further nine months to find another job.

Realpubs said it was trying to convert the gay pub into a gastropub which would attract people regardless of their sexuality.

Lisboa's solicitor, Paul Daniels, of Russell Jones & Walker, said: "This landmark decision confirms that an establishment that wishes to change from serving a mainly gay clientele to a mixed clientele must not do so in a way that discriminates against gay clients. It also serves as a stark warning to any employer who tolerates abuse and prejudice against gay staff or customers."

Realpubs said: "We have undertaken a full investigation into the incident and, having paid the penalty, are pleased the situation is now resolved."

New gay equality laws upheld in the House of Lords >>

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By Neil Gerrard

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