According to The Guardian, Jordi Casamitjana has settled his case against his former employer, League Against Cruel Sports (LACS), and claims it is a victory to animal protection. His case also made the landmark ruling earlier this year that ethical veganism is a philosophical belief and is now protected by the UK’s Equality Act 2010.
When Casamitjana learned that LACS’ pension fund was being invested with firms that tested on animals and hurt the environment, he raised concerns to his employer. He requested that his contributions be stopped in January 2017 and was told it would be arranged. By October, he found that his contributions had not been altered, and he had personally contributed £1,766. He subsequently alerted colleagues because “ethical vegans should promote ethical consumption in others.”
LACS previously argued that Casamitjana was dismissed properly for gross misconduct but conceded he had done nothing wrong in raising his concerns.
Speaking after the settlement, Casamitjana said: “This has been a great victory for all ethical vegans and animal protection. After nearly two years of litigation against the League Against Cruel Sports, I am extremely happy with the conclusion that we have secured.
“The case has established that ethical vegans are protected from discrimination, and I have received the acknowledgment I sought that my dismissal was based on my ethical veganism and was not justified or justifiable.”
In his statement following the result, Casamitjana said the LACS had conceded his actions were “genuine and correct.”
He said: “I worked for the League for several years over two separate spells of employment, and I know that it is staffed and supported by people with strong ethical principles to protect animals, the environment, and society. I am hopeful that the events of the past few years will prompt the League to learn from its mistakes and enable it to reclaim its position as one of the most important animal welfare charities in the UK.”
Casamitjana said the LACS had since changed its auto-enroll pension arrangements to make them “ethical.”
In a statement, the LACS said Casamitjana was a “very valued employee” who had shown “a great deal of professionalism, expertise, and commitment” to the protection of animals.
A spokeswoman said: “The only reason for the dismissal of Mr. Casamitjana in 2018 was his communications to his colleagues in relation to our pension arrangements. Having revisited the issue, we now accept that Mr. Casamitjana did nothing wrong with such communications, which were motivated by his belief in ethical veganism.
“We are grateful to Mr. Casamitjana for having raised the issue of pensions to us, which allowed us to change our default pension fund to an ethical one closer to our values.”