Junior lawyer sues ex-firm over disability discrimination allegations

A junior solicitor is mounting an employment claim against regulation specialist firm Capsticks alleging she suffered disability discrimination.

Monica Adorno, admitted in 2017, brought the claim after spending just eight months with the firm as an employment lawyer last year. According to tribunal papers published yesterday, Adorno alleges that she was denied the opportunity to complete a capability/probation plan and her employment was terminated after she told her supervisor she was suffering from a chronic digestive disorder brought on by high stress and anxiety levels.

Capsticks rejects all the claims, denying that Adorno was a disabled person and/or that it had knowledge of it.

Adorno, who also claims for deductions from wages (outstanding expenses), spoke by telephone at a preliminary hearing last month at which she applied to amend her claim.

The application stated that she wished to claim discrimination arising from disability under section 15 of the Equality Act 2010 and a failure to make reasonable adjustments.

She submitted that the allegations advanced should be characterised as acts of direct discrimination and that allowing the amendment would alter the scope of enquiry necessary. He application included a length description of new factual background which she told the tribunal was relevant background.

It was accepted this new claim was effectively out of time, but Adorno told the tribunal that she experienced a panic attack on the day she was dismissed, suffered from poor mental health which she presented in her claim, and she had been recovering from the Covid-19 virus for the previous eight weeks.

Employment Judge Pritchard said proceedings were at a preliminary stage and allowed Adorno to amend her allegations because it would be unlikely to lead to significant extra costs. He refused permission to allow the reasonable adjustment claim.