Nicknaming a salesperson “Gramps” amounts to age discrimination

2016-03-13 chris posted:

An Employment Tribunal has awarded more than £63,000 to a salesperson who was nicknamed “Gramps” for age discrimination by his younger colleagues.

Mr Dove was a long-serving salesperson with a jewellery manufacturer until his dismissal at the age of 60. At some point, the head of sales (who was considerably younger than Mr Dove) began using the nickname “Gramps” in emails to Mr Dove, and verbally whilst others were present.

The nickname “Gramps” was used for a number of years. Mr Dove did not complain about the nickname, and there was evidence to suggest that he referred to himself as “Gramps”.

Mr Dove was dismissed following the transfer of some of his key accounts to the head of sales. His dismissal also followed suggestions that customers had described him as:

“old fashioned”
“long in the tooth”

The Company also said that his “traditional” approach was out of step with their business needs. Mr Dove brought a claim of age discrimination in the Employment Tribunal.

The Tribunal held that Mr Dove was discriminated by his employer due to his age, and that his dismissal was influenced by customers’ stereotypical views. There was no doubt that phrases such as “old fashioned” and “long in the tooth” were references to Mr Dove’s age. In essence, the employer adopted the customers’ discriminatory and stereotypical attitudes without further enquiry.

Mr Dove was awarded a total of £63,391.

For more information about age discrimination claims, contact us today on 01225 632240 or at

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