BY Richard Moorhead, The Western JournalFebruary 14, 2023
1 year ago
 | February 14, 2023
1 year ago

Sales Director Gets the Last Laugh After His Former Boss Says 'I Don't Want a Team of Bald-Headed 50-Year-Old Men'

A British sales director is having the last laugh after his boss discriminated against him on the basis of his age.

Mark Jones, a former sales director at Tango Networks Ltd, secured a £71,441 (roughly $87,000) judgment from his former employer in a British employment tribunal in December.

A judicial panel determined that Jones' former manager, Philip Hesketh, funneled Jones out of his position because he wanted to hire someone younger.

Jones described Hesketh as expressing his preference for employees who weren't middle-aged men, according to The Telegraph.

"I don’t want a team of bald-headed 50-year-old men -- I want to change the dynamics," Hesketh had allegedly said while interviewing candidates for a job at the company. (One picture shows Jones with a head of hair.)

At one point, the manager -- himself a bald man -- expressed disappointment that applicants for a position at Tango looked like himself, according to the Telegraph.

Hesketh claimed he wanted "someone younger for the role” who was "ideally female," according to the tribunal's statement of judgment.

The manager also expressed his preference for workers that were "high energy, energetic and youthful," statements that the tribunal ultimately determined were evidence of age discrimination.

The tribunal determined that Hesketh repeatedly "referred to wanting to change the dynamics of the team, and he wanted a more diverse workforce."

Jones ultimately discovered his manager planning to dismiss him from his job on an erroneously updated workplace calendar, using an orchestrated performance improvement plan as justification.

"I’d like to make an offer to [two job candidates] on the provision we move Mark on very early in Jan 2021, and number 2 wants to join," Hesketh communicated to a superior.

The claimant filed an internal grievance against Hesketh for a performance improvement plan he viewed as a sham -- an appeal that was dismissed by another company executive.

Jones ultimately resigned in March 2021.

The tribunal determined that Hesketh's statements amounted to a violation of the United Kingdom's Equality Act.

“In our view, the evidence about this is enough to reverse the burden of proof -- we could conclude that, whether consciously or unconsciously, Mr. Hesketh perceived Mr. Jones as un-dynamic and he associated more dynamic people with the characteristics of younger people."

Jones' settlement included a £20,000 ($24,350) injury to feelings payment, as well as an unfair dismissal payment of £28,807 ($37,070), according to The Telegraph.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Richard Moorhead, The Western Journal



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