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Gay bar supervisor takes Crown Group to court

02 November 2006

A gay third-year law student has taken contract caterer Crown Group to court for alleged discrimination and breach of contract.

James Sharkey, 21, was a bar supervisor for Crown at Birmingham City Football Club from December 2005 until he resigned in February 2006. He alleges the company paid him less than the verbally agreed rate of £7.50 per hour and discriminated against him on the grounds of sexual orientation.

"I was called a supervisor and had a supervisor's jacket but, out of the 17 supervisors, I was the only one getting paid £5.50 an hour," Sharkey told Caterer.

Sharkey wrote a formal letter of grievance to Crown on 10 February demanding £126 - the difference he said he was owed. Crown subsequently paid out but because it did not respond to Sharkey within the statutory 28-day period, he is claiming further compensation.

Sharkey is also claiming damages after derogatory comments about homosexuals were allegedly made in front of him by former boss John Wolbers.

Crown would not comment on an ongoing legal case.

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