UK Appeals Tribunal Upholds Sexual Orientation Discrimination Ruling

December 19, 2006 ( - A London employment appeals tribunal on Tuesday upheld an earlier ruling that a former senior HSBC banker was not fired because he was gay, according to Reuters.

Peter Lewis, who was formerly head of HSBC ‘s global equity trading business, was fired for gross personal misconduct in 2004 following an alleged sexual harassment incident at the bank’s gym. Lewis lost his original £5 million ($9.5 million) lawsuit against HSBC in May in which he claimed unfair dismissal based on sexual orientation (See UK Tribunal Issues Split Ruling in Sexual Orientation Discrim Case).

The original ruling by an employment tribunal upheld four of Lewis’ 16 claims against the bank, finding HSBC had been discriminatory in its initial handling of allegations against Lewis for the sexual harassment incident. HSBC appealed the decision on those four counts, and the Employment Appeal Tribunal decided the rulings should be reviewed by a new tribunal, according to Reuters.

The case is the first high-profile lawsuit under new sexual orientation legislation that came into force in the United Kingdom in 2003, Reuters said.