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Can you be discriminated against for being a vegetarian?

The case involved an employee who claimed he had been bullied for being a vegetarian by work colleagues.

His discrimination claim failed on the basis that vegetarianism was not a protected characteristic under the Equality Act, like sexuality or gender. It was a lifestyle choice which did not meet the criteria for a philosophical belief under the Act.

The Judge acknowledged that while there were many reasons people might not eat meat, to amount to a philosophical belief, it must have a “similar status or cogency to religious beliefs”. Holding a belief relating to an important aspect of human life or behaviour was “not enough in itself”.

George Conisbee v. The Fritton Arms Hotel

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