Starbucks employee wins disability discrimination case

This week, Meseret Kumulchew, a Starbucks employee with dyslexia, won a disability discrimination case against her employer when she was accused of falsifying documents. A tribunal found she had been discriminated against after making mistakes due to her dyslexia, which caused difficulties with reading, writing and telling the time.

Ms Kumulchew took Starbucks to an employment tribunal and stated that she had always made it known to her employer that she was dyslexic and had to be shown how to do tasks visually. The tribunal found that Starbucks had failed to make reasonable adjustments for her disability and had little understanding of equality issues in the workplace.

The British Dyslexia Association have highlighted on the BBC that this case should be a wake-up call for employers. They estimate that one in ten people have dyslexia and highlighted that many dyslexic people are struggling in the workplace because their employers do not have enough training or awareness to make reasonable adjustments for them.

Reasonable adjustments are an important part of the Equality Act 2010 and make sure that disabled people aren’t seriously disadvantage whilst at work. In cases like this, there are a number of simple adjustments that could have been made – for example, having coloured paper or overlays available could have helped Ms Kumulchew with reading the information whilst at work.

What can you do to support your employees?
In 2009, iansyst launched our Re-adjust Service which is the complete accessibility solution for workplace organisations, helping to support your disabled employees and bring inclusivity to the workplace. Our simple four-step solution begins with analysing and finishes with complete support and reassurance.

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To request a copy of our Accessibility and Inclusivity brochure or to find out how our Re-adjust Service can support your employees, please get in touch by emailing

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