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Law: Racial Harassment Where Racist/Sexist Comments are Common

It would be naïve to think that all work environments are free of prejudicial comments whether it relates to sex, sexuality, race etc.

In the case of Queenscourt Ltd v Nyateka the environment was one of frequent discriminatory comments.

A black worker was excluded by her male manager from a management meeting where she wished to raise an issue about her pay.

Subsequently the manager had said to her that a reason she was not invited was “maybe its because I’m being racist to a black woman”.

The lady raised a grievance and was then suspended with no pay while an investigation was carried out.

The manager received a written warning and the lady was invited to return to work but at a different branch if she wished.

She did not return to work and the company eventually sent her the P45 and her employment ended.

In a subsequent appeal case it was held, even though there was substantial discriminatory banter, the one remark by the manager could be considered harassment and the lady was awarded £1,500.

The tribunal also noted that the manager had not been suspended and nor was his pay deducted.

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