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Ian McColgin
04-22-2010, 08:31 PM
An interesting lawsuit here:

From the London Evening Standard.

Payout for sustainability chief ‘axed over his green views'

Tim Stewart
20.04.10

An executive who sued a property firm for more than £750,000 after allegedly being sacked for his green views has been given a substantial out-of-court payment.

Tim Nicholson, 42, won a landmark legal battle to challenge Grainger Plc over his treatment. A judge decided that green beliefs deserved the same protection in the workplace as religious ones, a ruling which could open the floodgates to thousands of claims.

Mr Nicholson was set to take Grainger, Britain's biggest residential landlord which manages 27,000 properties worth £3 billion, to Central London Employment Tribunal this month.

He was demanding £756,615 in compensation after being made redundant in July 2008 from his £77,000-a-year post as head of sustainability at the firm's Putney office. Mr Nicholson alleged that his redundancy was a direct result of his opinions about the dangers of climate change — which put him at odds with other senior executives at the firm.

He accused them of failing to live up to their own policies to cut emissions of carbon dioxide saying they drove “the most polluting cars on the road”.

His claim included £587,925 for loss of earnings, £141,080 for loss of pension rights and £20,000 for injury to feelings.

Mr Nicholson was given permission to take Grainger to tribunal in March last year. The firm appealed, claiming that his views were a lifestyle choice. But appeal judge Mr Justice Burton ruled that Mr Nicholson's concern about the environment in general, and climate change in particular, did amount to a philosophical belief under the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations 2003.

The parties settled Mr Nicholson's claim “amicably”. He lives in an eco-friendly home in Oxford, refuses to fly and now works for a medical charity.

His solicitor Shah Qureshi, of law firm Bindmans, said: “He is pleased to have created an important point of law to support those individuals, like him, who hold a strong belief in the urgent need to combat climate change.”

Grainger bosses have denied that Mr Nicholson's views were the reason why he was made redundant and cited “operational needs”

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