Vegans should be legally exempt from workplace tea rounds, argues London lawyer

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They shouldn’t be asked to handle cows’ milk

Vegan workers should be legally exempt from doing the office tea round on the grounds of discrimination, a London lawyer has argued.

Employment law specialist Alex Monaco claims vegans shouldn’t be put in a position at work where they are required to handle cows’ milk. The lawyer, who is vegan himself, goes as far as arguing that veganism should be treated as a legally “protected characteristic” under the Equality Act 2010.

“If you were Jewish or Muslim and told to get a round of bacon sandwiches in, no one would bat an eyelid if you refused,” Leeds law grad Monaco told The Sun newspaper. “But if you’re vegan and refused to buy a pint of milk to make tea because you believe the dairy industry is torturing cows, then you would be laughed out of the kitchen.”

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Continuing, Monaco said many vegans feel they’re not adequately catered for in the work canteens whilst the “sandwiches all have butter in them”.

The 38-year-old lawyer, who founded London outfit Monaco Solicitors, added: “Vegans do get bullied — I was even bullied on a holiday with friends when I couldn’t eat anything from the butchers or pizzeria.”

But not everyone agrees. While accepting plant-based options in her office canteen can be limited, one anonymous City-working vegan told Legal Cheek:

“I don’t believe I should be exempt from making the office tea just because I don’t drink cows’ milk. The idea of trying to make veganism a legally protected characteristic is ludicrous.”

Monaco, however, remains undeterred, telling the newspaper: “The tide is changing now. It’s a movement. If we can get the law changed, people’s views may follow on from that.”

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