Home > Case Studies > I Was Discriminated Against Due to Speech Impediment

I Was Discriminated Against Due to Speech Impediment

By: Kevin Watson MSc - Updated: 11 Sep 2015 | comments*Discuss
 
Speech Impediment Supervisor Colleagues

Gail Mabey grew up with a speech impediment that therapy could only partially correct. Despite the impediment, she had a happy childhood and didn’t suffer bullying at school. When she started work in an office, however, she experienced discriminationwork.

Beginning Work

“I began work with a feeling of optimism. This was my first job, and it was what I wanted to do. I’m also a naturally buoyant character, and usually untroubled by what people think of me.

“I’d explained to the interview panel about my speech impediment – it was obvious to them anyway – and how I’d taken a course in answering the phone and communicating with the public. The three people on the panel seemed satisfied – they gave me the job after all!

“The moment I met my supervisor, however, it was clear something was wrong. He was an older man, and he didn’t even smile at me. In fact he barely said a word – just pointed to where I would sit and then left, saying he’d be back later."

Discrimination

“Although my colleagues were all great – and just as at school, didn’t make an issue of my speech impediment – the supervisor really wasn’t pleasant to me.

“On the afternoon of the first day, he asked me in front of the others whether the public could understand me when I spoke to them on the phone or at the counter. I was taken aback, but told him what I’d said to the interview panel. His response was that the interview panel ‘knew nothing’.

“The others told me not to worry, but the supervisor’s attitude shook my self-confidence. The following day, he told me there was a job going on another section where I wouldn’t have to talk to the public. I replied that it wasn’t the job I’d applied for. He didn’t like this."

Denied Opportunities

“Over the next week or so, the supervisor spoke to me infrequently. This didn’t matter a huge deal because the other staff were supportive and showed me the ropes. Even so, I began to wonder where this would all end.

“An opportunity then arose for some staff to attend a training course. In fact, the course was for staff who’d been with the company less than a year. Apart from me, this applied to two others on my team. But instead of nominating all three of us for the course, the supervisor simply chose the other two. When I asked him why he’d ignored me, he said I wasn’t suitable for training.

“I felt this was discrimination. The supervisor was denying me an opportunity to improve myself within the company. But I decided to wait because I thought I’d have a chance to discuss this further with him when he held my first staff appraisal.

“According to the company’s new employee starter pack, the first appraisal occurs after six weeks. Six weeks went by, however, and the supervisor didn’t mention it. Rather than speak to him, I sent him an email asking for a date for the appraisal. His response was ‘Why did I need one?’ "

Resolution

“I now realised that this couldn’t go on. It seemed to me that the supervisor was trying to drive me away from work because of my speech impediment.

“I therefore asked around, and found one of the members of the interview panel - the head of human resources. I didn’t moan about the supervisor. I simply asked about my first staff appraisal, and when I could have it.

“I suspect that the supervisor already had something of a reputation, and that the head of human resources immediately saw what he was trying to do to me.

“Anyway, the next day, I won’t say the supervisor was a changed man, but he couldn’t have been nicer. He arranged the appraisal, and even sorted out another training course for me. He also asked how I was settling in at work.

“The other staff said that the head of human resources had been seen talking to him before he went home the previous day. Whatever she had said, did the trick. Nonetheless, even though I’m still with the same company and have the same supervisor, I know that he’s not comfortable with me. Still, that’s his problem!”

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Your story is inspiring, I have a stammer and am being made redundant because of bullying at work. The manageress would rather push me out because I was off sick due to the stress than support me. While the bully is charm personified to others and his job is safe. Best of luck for the future.
Salli - 11-Sep-15 @ 11:34 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Carl
    Re: Safe Working Temperatures
    Hi im a maintenance worker and i am being made to jet wash outdoors in cold temperatures (its december in the uk) is this allowed or…
    5 December 2019
  • Joe
    Re: General Workplace Safety
    Can I be forced to put my belongings in a unsafe locker
    5 December 2019
  • Reddwalf
    Re: Criminal Background Checks: CRB & DBS
    Hi, I want to work as a nursery assistant, but a few years ago my daughter made a false allegation that I threatened…
    5 December 2019
  • Sunny
    Re: Safe Working Temperatures
    Iam heart patient and having high blood pressure issues and iam on medication 4 tabs a day and i work full time at night shift and my…
    5 December 2019
  • Chris
    Re: Can my Employer Fire Me?
    I've had a shoulder injury for 3 years that happened before I started employment at my current job. For this injury I've been…
    4 December 2019
  • Dave
    Re: Lead Poisoning: Causes and Prevention
    Hi, Can anyone tell me whether the lead shot that falls on the ground as a result of shooting clay pigeons, is…
    4 December 2019
  • Calling Out The Corr
    Re: Violence at Work
    How do HM Revenue & Customs get away with bullying and harassing staff ?
    4 December 2019
  • Fred
    Re: Sickness: Your Rights
    I have been with my employer for over 11 years now. For the last 2 months I've struggled on and off with sciatica. I have taken the last 2…
    3 December 2019
  • Steve
    Re: Employer Has Changed My Shifts: What Are My Rights?
    My employer has got me starting my first two days on nights then a day of rest then next three days…
    3 December 2019
  • Mr T
    Re: Guide to Your Rights When Working Alone
    If you are not using a lone worker devise and checking via say a raido, is there a maximum time limit to monitoring?
    3 December 2019