Kent

Dow Jones boss James McClellan 'told to dress as Santa'

Father Christmas generic Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption James McClellan said he found the experience of dressing up as Father Christmas "uncomfortable"

A Dow Jones boss "forced" to dress up as Father Christmas and branded an "old buffer" is suing the financial news and publishing giant.

Accounts manager James McClellan, 53, claims he was forced out of his job because of sexism and ageism.

In documents submitted to the Central London Employment Tribunal, he said he was made to feel he was being singled out by his female manager.

Dow Jones, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, has denied the allegations.

Mr McClellan, from Maidstone in Kent, began working at Dow Jones in May 2011, with Azmina Airi joining the team as his manager in October 2013.

He claims Ms Airi implied he was a misogynist who underestimated the ability of "the girls" in his team.

'Ageist environment'

He told the tribunal he was just raising "grave concerns" they were being overstretched because of the roll-out of a new payroll system, and were being "subjected to dangerously high levels of stress".

In a statement he said: "At our first meeting she [Ms Airi] informed me that she had been observing me and was of the view that I was 'rigid and stuck in my ways'.

"I found this offensive suggesting that she was judging me on the basis of my age and her pre-conception of how set in their ways a middle aged person is.

"At Christmas 2013 she demanded that I dress up as the secret Santa. I was given no option and again felt that I was being discriminated against on the basis of age. I found the experience uncomfortable.

"She selected me because I was the 'nice old buffer' everyone liked.

"I would be happy to suffer the embarrassment."

Mr McClellan has accused Ms Airi of discriminating against him because he was a middle-aged man, and has branded the workplace an "ageist environment".

He resigned in February last year, and is claiming constructive dismissal, age and sex discrimination, and whistleblowing.

The tribunal continues.

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