A pagan witch who claimed she was sacked for attending a Halloween ceremony has won a religious discrimination case against her former employers.
Karen Holland accused her newsagent bosses of turning on her when they found out she practiced Wicca, and took them to the English Employment Tribunal with claims of unfair dismissal, sex discrimination and religious discrimination. Her bosses insisted she was fired for stealing but the tribunal found in her favour.
The Daily Mail reported she was awarded £15,000 (NZ$30,000) by the court in what is believed to be the first pay-out of its kind in Britain.
Holland said that her bosses, brothers Tarloch and Gurnam Singh, had taken her outside and fired her when she returned to work after having celebrated All Hallows’ Eve. As well as claiming that when they learnt of her beliefs they looked at her like a “leper” and allegedly asked if modern day witches could fly on broomsticks – something the brothers deny saying.
The Singhs accused Holland of stealing a magazine and lottery ticket which is why she was fired. They paid her two weeks wages and barred her from the store. She denies stealing.
The tribunal found she was dismissed in an “indefensible” way which breached “the basics of natural justice”.
The brothers are appealing the ruling.