Part-time Santa sued company after boss allegedly called him a ‘paedo’ over role

A part-time Santa worker is suing his old company after his boss called him a “paedo”.

Carl Graham donned the jolly red suit and fake white beard as part of a seasonal job to earn some extra cash. But his boss at his usual nine to five didn’t take too kindly to the news.

Mr Graham claims that his work colleagues and his boss Jon Gill tormented him over the gig until he was eventually sacked from his sales position at a car dealership in 2020.

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Mr Graham went to court, demanding £44,000 in compensation. He alleged that he was discriminated against over his sexuality, telling the tribunal that his life had been ruined.

“I was called paedo, kiddy fiddler… the daily abuse about my sexual preferences has destroyed my life," he said. However, despite his allegations, the tribunal decided that there were insufficient grounds for his claim as being called a paedophile had nothing to do with his sexuality and he lost the case.

The tribunal also claimed that Mr Graham was “prone to exaggeration”. At one point Mr Graham said: “This is the most horrific abuse anyone has suffered in employment history.”

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The panel questioned the validity of his claims, adding that while Mr Graham claimed his co-workers bullied him, they found he was an “enthusiastic participant”.

Following the ruling his boss, Mr Gill, was given a stern warning over his conduct and behaviour at work. He told the panel that he regretted his actions but felt at the time that it was just a bit of fun.

“At the time, I saw it as banter," he said. “Now, I realise it was unacceptable.”

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The Daily Star previously reported that a business owner who sacked one of his staff after she consistently called in sick on Mondays has been ordered to pay out over £3,000. Christian Donnelly, who owned Acute Barbers in the Cardiff University student union, had warned Celine Thorley not to let him down after she told him she was planning a Halloween party.

But when she texted him to say she was too ill to work on the following Monday, Christian decided enough was enough and gave her the sack. An employment tribunal heard that Ms Thorley had hosted a Halloween house party on the last weekend of October 2021. Christian said his parting words to her before the weekend were: “Don’t let me down on Monday.”

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But Ms Thorley texted: "Hey Chris I know you're going to be mad at me but I can’t make it to work sorry I really didn’t think I was going to be this bad I’m not well at all I was a mess yesterday and I’ve woke up this morning and was sick straight away. I really thought I was going to be okay today… my stomach is killing me and I’m all shaky… I really can’t get out of bed Chris. I’m soo sorry!"

Chris, 39, said he was "not having this" and would be letting her go. She protested but he replied: "After four years of phoning in sick on Mondays because you’d had a good weekend, I can do what I like, trust me… I’ve kept that shop open just to keep you in a wage… Don’t come in and you’re gone."

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