We received this email from Ann recently:
I was wondering if you could help me, I work in a small supermarket and have just been told of a new way of scanning the products and packing the bag. As we sit on the tills the conveyor belt is on the right and the bag packing area on the left. After scanning the items I have been told to hold the bag in my left hand whilst packing with my right hand, which obviously for a left handed person is very awkward and would in fact slow down the process rather than the desired effect of speeding up the transaction. This is something they are auditing us on, and it is written in black and white that the left hand is to hold the bag and the right hand is to pack. When I asked whether I had to do as they said I was told if I refused to comply with the new system I could face disciplinary action. Surely this is discrimination?!! I was wondering if you know of any document or paperwork that would confirm this that I could take to them early next week?
What we said was…
I am amazed that they are making you do that and it certainly is discriminatory (and bad for their business I would have thought) but unfortunately there is no specific legal protection for discrimination against lefthanders as far as I know so probably not much you can do about it apart from complaining to your employer. I am sure it would make an interesting test case but that is not much help to you.
I would like to put your email (without your real name or email address) up as a blog post on our website and maybe feature it in our next newsletter to get some feedback from Left Handers Club members on whether they have heard of anything similar or have any ideas on what you may be able to do about it. Is that OK?
It was, and here it is – have you had any experiences similar to this and do you have any advice on what action could be taken? Please add your comments below.