Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

redmans-blog-analysisIn the case of McCammon v Gillingham Football Club & anor (ET/1100815/11) the Employment Tribunal held that Mr Mark McCammon, a professional footballer at the time, had been victimised by the club that he played for because he had made an allegation of discrimination against the then-head coach of the club, Andy Hesenthaler. The Tribunal also found that Mr McCammon had been subjected to an unauthorised deduction from his wages by the club, although this was unrelated to the victimisation claim.

Mr McCammon, who is black, was signed by Gillingham Football Club (“Gillingham FC”) in July 2008 on a fixed three-year term. Mr Scally, the club’s chairman, negotiated Mr McCammon’s contract. In June 2010 Mr Hesenthaler commenced employment with Gillingham FC as the club’s first-team manager. Mr McCammon was injured and had not played for Gillingham FC for most of the 2009-10 season. By September 2010 Mr Hesenthaler had formed the view that Mr McCammon did not form part of his plans for Gillingham FC moving forward, as he did not believe that Mr McCammon was putting 100% effort into training and that he was a bad role model for younger players. Mr Hesenthaler informed Mr Scally of his decision and Mr Scally told Mr McCammon that he would not play further for Gillingham FC, prompting negotiations to take place regarding a potential settlement agreement. However, it was not possible for the parties to come to mutually-agreeable terms for the settlement agreement.

On 30 November 2010 there was heavy snow. Non-injured footballers were told, on this basis, that they would not have to attend training that day but injured footballers were told that they would have to attend the club for treatment. Mr McCammon, who lived two miles away from the club with two other players, contacted the club that day to state that they could not report for treatment because of the heavy snowfall. Mr Scally was informed of this and insisted that they attend the club, informing them that they would be docked two weeks’ wages if they did not do so. Upon attendance at the club that afternoon Mr McCammon commented to the physiotherapist that another white colleague who was injured and lived close to the club was not at the club. Mr McCammon then went to Mr Hesenthaler’s office, whereby an argument took place; the accounts of Mr Hesenthaler and Mr McCammon as to what happened differed, but Mr McCammon alleged that he complained that black players were being treated differently, that he felt that he was being discriminated against, and that Mr Hesenthaler threw a table at him and asked him to “fuck off”. Mr Hesenthaler’s account of what happened was that it was Mr McCammon who had acted aggressively and that Mr McCammon had accused him of being racist.

Disciplinary proceedings were subsequently brought by Gillingham FC against Mr McCammon, with the allegations being that he had acted in an aggressive, threatening and violent manner on 30 November 2010, and that he had made “serious accusations” of racism against Mr Hesenthaler and the assistant coach.

A disciplinary hearing chaired by Mr Scally took place in January 2011, with Mr McCammon’s representative only being sent the evidence for the hearing the day before. Mr McCammon was subsequently sent a letter informing him that he was being dismissed on the grounds of the allegations brought, namely that he had acted aggressively on 30 November 2010 and that he had made serious accusations of racism against management.

Mr McCammon subsequently brought a claim in the Employment Tribunal for victimisation and unfair dismissal, arguing that a poor process had been used in dismissing him and that he had been dismissed principally because he had made an allegation of racism against Mr Hesenthaler.

The Employment Tribunal found that Mr McCammon’s dismissal by Gillingham FC constituted victimisation – one of the principal reasons that the Tribunal came to this conclusion was that the letter of dismissal stated that one of the reasons for dismissing Mr McCammon was “very serious accusations of racism” – the Tribunal deemed it important that it had not been put to Mr McCammon (or found that) his allegations were false or in bad faith, and further decided that the club would have been in no position to find that the allegations of racism were false or in bad faith due to the fact that there had been no investigation whatsoever into the allegations by the club. The Tribunal found that Mr Scally had discounted Mr McCammon’s allegations of racism from the start as being without merit and therefore not worthy of investigation.

The Tribunal also upheld Mr McCammon’s claims for unfair dismissal and unlawfuld deduction from wages.

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “This is a classic case of how not to deal with allegations of racism (or any other form of discrimination) in the workplace, and how not to deal with a disciplinary hearing. Rather unbelievably, the letter of dismissal was reviewed by a solicitor before it was sent out, although this solicitor was not an employment law practitioner. One of the points that this case reinforces, however, is that in these forms of dispute specialist advice should be sought.”

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

    Your first name (required)

    Your last name (required)

    Your email (required)

    Your telephone number (required)

    Brief details of your enquiry

    Testimonials

    4.79 Average

    274 Reviews

    Mary B

    I was very happy with the work Chris did for me. I believe with his help I secured a more favourable outcome both financially and in terms of clauses contained in the legal agreement I ultimately signed. I had utmost trust and confidence in the advice Chris provided throughout. Chris kept me informed at every stage and I found him very efficient at bringing matters to a conclusion without unnecessary delay.

    Posted 1 day ago

    Mark M

    I found Redmans very easy to work with. Mel was very responsive, her advice led to an improved settlement. . Recommended.!

    Posted 3 days ago

    Anonymous

    Fantastic service. I would recommend Redmans to anyone who needed a Solicitor. The communication was second to none and consistent clear guidance was given.

    Posted 5 days ago

    Anonymous

    Everyone I dealt with at Redmans were professional, empathetic & always responded promptly and helped make the transition as smooth & efficient as possible for me. If you need legal advice, don’t hesitate & contact the team.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Anonymous

    Sacha was incredibly helpful and professional. Timely and accurate advice at a time I most needed it. I was extremely impressed and grateful.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Sue W

    The people at Redmans talk to you with respect and make you feel like they take your situation personal. They clearly care and are extremely professional. I have recommended Redmans to many people.

    Posted 3 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Redmans Solicitors were consistently prompt, efficient and professional from the start of my reaching out to them for support in relation to contentious negotiations of an employment matter that continued for almost two months resulting in a positive settlement agreement. Chris Hadrill was diligent, thorough, empathetic and objective in his advice and guidance, showing deep and broad knowledge of the law and legal processes plus extensive practical experience in handling complex matters, resulting in clear and pragmatic advice in ambiguous circumstances that resulted in a very good outcome. I fully recommend Chris Hadrill and Redmans Solicitors! I have made this review anonymous purely because of the confidentiality obligations in the settlement agreement concluded.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Michelle W

    Redmans solicitors provided legal support and advice for a settlement agreement. Excellent customer service, very professional. The senior associate solicitor kept me updated throughout the process, showed empathy and the agreement was signed-off / completed within the agreed timeline.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Mark W

    Redmans Solicitors were extremely professional and helpful! Chris Hadrill handled my case and was an amazing help! His guidance, advice and understanding to my redundancy settlement were always clear, concise and very helpful and I am very grateful to him, and glad I found Redmans to help with my settlement. I highly recommend them!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Alison M

    Very happy with the advice I received

    Posted 2 months ago

    Margaret A

    I found everything about the company to be extremely professional and efficient. During my initial contact with Chris, he listened well and was reassuring, so I felt confident that my case would be well handled. Caroline was excellent at explaining all the legal points and answering my questions, as well as being very supportive and understanding throughout the process. I would definitely recommend this company.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Sanja K

    Very efficient and professional service.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    I found the advice I was given by Redmans Solicitors to be clear and useful and found the solicitor on my case to be both knowledgeable and approachable.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Karen T

    Great service. Thank you.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service from Chris & Mel Chin. The best outcome was achieved from the redundancy process. They were extremely thorough, listened carefully and acted swiftly on my behalf. I highly recommend Redmans Solicitors

    Posted 2 months ago

    Shanine M

    Excellent service, thank you so much!

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    I found Caroline and Chris very Helpful and provided excellent service. Caroline especially provided great legal advice and made me feel at ease with the whole process. I would highly recommend them. Thank you!

    Posted 2 months ago

    Gayle B

    Excellent company very professional would definitely recommend

    Posted 2 months ago

    Alex K

    Redmans provided an excellent service, timely and effective. Will definitely recommend.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Great job done on my employment law

    Posted 2 months ago

    Dominica S

    Caroline & Chris were very prompt and efficient.Very happy with the service and will definitely recommend Redmans Solicitor to everyone !

    Posted 2 months ago