He Says He Was Fired for Being Vegan. Now, a Judge's Ruling

Decision says ethical veganism is belief worthy of protection from discrimination, but case isn't over
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 3, 2020 10:57 AM CST
Early Win for Vegan Who Says He Was Fired for His Beliefs
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/AlexRaths)

A UK man who says he was fired due to his ethical veganism saw partial victory this week via an employment tribunal. Unlike run-of-the-mill veganism, ethical veganism resists not only an animal-based diet, but all kinds of animal exploitation, such as buying clothes made from leather, or testing products on animals. On Friday a Norwich judge ruled that this more extreme veganism is a philosophical belief, and therefore is protectable under the nation's 2010 Equality Act, per the Telegraph. This ruling was met with vigorous approval by 55-year-old Jordi Casamitjana of London, who says he was canned from his job with the League Against Cruel Sports, an animal welfare charity, after alerting higher-ups the firm's pension fund was investing in companies involved in animal testing, per the BBC. He says when his supervisors did nothing about his complaint, he told co-workers, after which he was fired.

In Friday's ruling, Judge Robin Postle decided that ethical veganism checks several boxes under the 2010 law's section on "religion or belief" that protects against discrimination, including that it's worthy of respect in a democratic society, that it's not incompatible with human dignity, and that it doesn't conflict with the fundamental rights of others. The charity, however, claims that whether or not ethical veganism falls under the Equality Act is moot, because it says Casamitjana was fired for gross misconduct, not his beliefs. The Guardian notes this ruling doesn't actually address Casamitjana's personal claim he was wrongly fired—it merely says ethical veganism in general is deserving of protection. A second hearing will take place to settle Casamitjana's wrongful-termination complaint. "I'm really, really satisfied," he says, per the BBC. "A positive belief is bound to be protected." (More vegan stories.)

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