Worker Gets Job Offered Back After Unfair Firing
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
January 9, 2003
MONMOUTH, WALES--A company has offered to hire back a woman it unjustly fired the week before Christmas.
For the last five years, Karen Godfrey had worked four hours a week for the WH Smith newsagent chain. She was placed there six years ago by a Mencap charity program that helps people with disabilities to get jobs.
According to a story in Thursday's Ananova news, the company did not have Godfrey on its payroll, but had been paying her in gift vouchers equaling £5 ($8 US) a week.
And just before Christmas, Godfrey, who is described as having "learning disabilities" (the term used in the United Kingdom for "mental retardation"), was notified she would no longer be able to work for the company because she was not covered by the staff insurance program.
The store manager phoned Godfrey's mother to explain that Godfrey had "done nothing wrong", but that it was company policy to "get rid of people like Karen for insurance reasons."
Huw Edwards, a local member of parliament, brought a motion in the House of Commons condemning the company for its actions. Edwards accused WH Smith of discriminating against Godfrey because of her disability, and wrote to the Disability Rights Commission about it.
On Thursday, WH Smith offered Godfrey her old job back - with full pay and benefits.
A spokesperson for WH Smith said it was "certainly not" company policy to fire people with learning disabilities.