Fired witch wins $30,000 pay-out

A pagan witch who claimed she was sacked for attending a Halloween ceremony has won a religious discrimination case against her former employers.

Fired witch wins $30,000 pay-out
A pagan witch who claimed she was dismissed over her Halloween celebrations has won a religious discrimination case against her former bosses.

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.

Free newsletter

Our daily newsletter is FREE and keeps you up-to-date with the world of HR. Please complete the form below and click on subscribe for daily newsletters from HRD New Zealand.

Recent articles & video

How can HR deal with rising cases of workplace bullying?

5 gender myths killing your D&I agenda

How to build a succession plan

Are you an innovative HR team

Most Read Articles

‘There are just no excuses for employers to get this wrong’

What does cannabis legalisation mean for employers?

What's the key to achieving workplace happiness?