Huge payout for victim of racial discrimination
- AuthorPhilip Richardson
A Brazilian office worker, who fell victim to racial abuse for a staggering 18 consecutive months, has been awarded more than £140,000 in compensation.
The abuse directed towards former AXA PPP Healthcare worker Licia Faithful was so severe that she suffered post traumatic stress disorder and depression after being ridiculed by fellow co-workers.
This week, a judge ordered the company to pay her aggravated damages – including almost £25,000 for hurt feelings – after an Employment Tribunal heard how staff in the office in Tunbridge Wells, recorded the 31-year-old's voice and played it back to her, laughing and mimicking her accent, the Daily Telegraph revealed.
In one instance, the tribunal heard how co-workers would refer to Mrs Faithful as SpongeBob SquarePants, an animated character on a popular children's show who has a nasal voice. The Tribunal was also told that how colleagues called her "cranky" and "lazy", one co-worker going so far as to call her a "bloody foreigner" during a staff outing.
However, it wasn't just co-workers orchestrating the abuse. Mrs Faithful also had to watch as British colleagues received rewards from bosses, including cash and vouchers, for achievements to which she had contributed but received nothing.
“There was substantial evidence that these employees were engaged in bullying, which was contrary to the respondent's own bullying and harassment policy," ruled the judge, who labelled Mrs Faithful's predicament as the “most serious case of discrimination.”
In a statement the company said that it was “disappointed” with the outcome and insisted it had already considered “areas for improvement”.
Have you been the victim of unwarranted abuse in the workplace, racial or otherwise? Speak to one of our employment law solicitors for advice and assistance, call us on: 01616 966 229 or complete our online enquiry form.
By employment law solicitor, Phil Richardson