Gay worker wins homophobic graffiti case

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

A gay man who was suspended for complaining about anti-gay graffiti has won his case at an employment tribunal.

Chris Martin was employed by Parkam Foods, in West Yorkshire. The company supply pre-packaged meats to many of the major UK supermarkets.

Finding offensive pornographic material in the men’s toilet with his name written next to it, Martin complained to his superiors. Despite company procedures to deal with bullying and victimisation, bosses took no action.

Mr Martin then complained in writing, at which time a warning about graffiti was placed in the lavatories, but no mention was made of the homophobic nature of the material.

The company did not try to find out which employee was responsible for the graffiti, and Martin told the tribunal that he was treated “like a piece of dirt” for complaining about the abuse.

When he was suspended in November 2005, Martin resigned and claimed he was a victim of constructive dismissal.

Yesterday an employment tribunal found in his favour, and told Parkam Foods they had failed to deal with Mr Martin’s complaint properly. Compensation will be decided at a later date.