Discrimination Claims

Discrimination Claims in Turks & Caicos Islands

Turks and Caicos Employment Ordinance provides protection for employees against discrimination on the job:

Direct discrimination – where a person is discriminated against due to one or more protected characteristics, for example a female candidate for a job does not get an interview but a male with less experience does (sometimes an employer might state an occupational requirement in defence).

Discrimination by association – where a person is associated with someone with a protected characteristic, for example a mother who has given birth to a disabled child returns from maternity leave and applies for promotion, but the job is given to someone less qualified as the employer thinks the mother will need more time off and be less reliable because of her child’s special needs.

Discrimination due to a perceived characteristic – where someone thinks a person has a protected characteristic but they do not, for example a man looks older than his actual age and is not given a role which involves heavy lifting as the employer believes he is ‘too old’ to do physical work.

Discrimination bases on Social Origin or National Extraction – Being discriminated against because you were not born in the Turks and Caicos or do not come from a family of a higher class.

Harassment – this now includes failing to prevent the harassment of an employee by a third party, for example if a shop owner overhears a customer make repeated racist remarks to one of their employees and does not do anything about it.

Victimisation – this now includes when someone is treated less favourably having made a discrimination claim or has supported someone else to make one, for example if a person has successfully complained that their manager has made unfair comments made about their sexuality, but are then ignored by that manager or other staff they could claim victimisation.

Things for employers to consider:

  • No minimum length of service to bring discrimination claims
  • No financial cap on award for a successful claim
  • Employers can be vicariously liable for their employees’ discriminatory acts
  • Employee may recover aggravated damages for discrimination