Singapore gay man loses first of its kind workplace discrimination court case

A gay man, who brought a civil suit against his former employer, has been ordered to pay S$20,000 in legal costs

Singapore gay man loses first of its kind workplace discrimination court case
31 May 2014

A gay Singaporean man, who brought a civil suit against his former employer for ‘forced resignation’, has had his appeal dismissed by the Supreme court on Thursday.

Lawrence Bernard Wee Kim San, 40, who said he was harassed into leaving his job as a senior manager at a well-known retail store Robinsons in August 2012, was also ordered to pay S$20,000 (US$16,000) in legal costs.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld a ruling by the High Court in December last year.

Wee claimed that although he had resigned, it was a case of ‘constructive dismissal’ whic. The term describes a situation where an employee resigns because his or her employer has made working conditions unbearable.

He had worked in the company from 2006 to 2012, during which his monthly salary had doubled from S$7,200 to more than S$16,000.

Singapore’s Today newspaper reported that Wee was paid four months’ salary in lieu of notice although the terms of his contract only stipulated a payment of two months’ salary in lieu of notice, as well as cash for his unconsumed annual leave.

As the case was ongoing, Wee had also filed a constitutional challenge last August which sought a declaration from the court that Article 12 of Singapore’s Constitution, which provides for the equal protection of the law, prohibits discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.

Wee’s lawyer M Ravi had also filed and later withdrawn three intervention applications – by an ‘androgyne’, a ‘transvestite’ and a ‘bisexual’ man – who sought to join as plaintiffs to Wee’s case.

Wee withdrew his appeal in April this year.

The Attorney-General had applied to have the case struck out on the basis that it was not sustainable in law, was frivolous and vexatious or was otherwise an abuse of the Court process, Today newspaper reported in April 2014.

Wee had no comment when contacted by Gay Star News today. However he confirmed that his legal costs for his civil suit will be self-funded while the US$7,890 raised via Indiegogo will go towards the costs incurred for the constitutional challenge.



No thumbnail available

Openly gay Pennsylvania lawmaker Brian Sims predicts a gay president by 2024

Openly gay Pennsylvania Democrat Brian Sims has predicted the United States will elect an openly gay man to its highest office within ten years in an interview with French gay magazine Tetu
No thumbnail available

NYC health officials announce four cases of gay men with meningitis

Four cases of meningitis among gay men discovered by New York City Health officials
No thumbnail available

Ukraine throws out 'gay propaganda' bill

The Russia-style bill was deemed 'no longer relevant'
No thumbnail available

Marco Rubio: LGBT immigrants' rights not 'a central issue'

The US Senator from Florida said that immigration reform will be 'difficult enough as is' without considering protections for same-sex binational couples
No thumbnail available

Watch the UK lesbian couple already planning their wedding

Minutes after it is confirmed it will be law, we find one lesbian couple outside the UK parliament whose dream of marrying is now being made a reality
No thumbnail available

UK study finds PrEP reduces HIV infection risk by 86%

'PrEP is, quite simply, a game-changer'
No thumbnail available

New Pope, same old prejudices

George Broadhead says despite his image as a champion of the downtrodden, Pope Francis has repeatedly attacked LGBT people
No thumbnail available

Kris Humphries apologises for Bruce Jenner tweet

The NBA player, previously married to Kim Kardashian, has announced he supports Jenner's transition to female
No thumbnail available

Flex your journo muscles as a GSN intern

If you're an aspiring journalist then an internship with Gay Star News could be the stepping stone you need
No thumbnail available

Madonna taken to Russian court over MDNA gay rights speech

Anti-gay rights activists send court summons to Material Girl, claiming singer 'insulted their feelings' with gay rights comments at St Petersburg concert