At least in the UK, according to a recent case discussed by employment lawyer Verity Sayers of the London law firm of Nabarro LLP.
In a case known as Abrams, the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) ruled that the wording of the Equality Act does not preclude lawsuits for employment discrimination brought by a limited company.
How so, you ask? Under what circumstances might this occur?
Ms. Sayers says that a company may show that it has been “directly discriminated against where it suffers detrimental treatment because of the protected characteristic of someone with whom it is associated.” It must demonstrate that it “suffered financial loss as a result of discrimination, since companies are unlikely to be able to claim for injury to feelings.”
She quotes the Court’s examples of such situations:
“a company being shunned commercially because it is seen to employ a Jewish or ethnic workforce; a company that loses a contract or suffers a detriment because of pursuing an avowedly Roman Catholic ethic; one that suffered treatment because of its financial support for the Conservative Party or, say, for Islamic education; or one that was deliberately not favoured because it offered employment opportunities to those who had specific disabilities that were unattractive to some would-be contractors or because, let us suppose, of the openly gay stance of a chief executive.”