A Polish chef who was subjected to racial discrimination and harassment at work has been awarded more than £15,000.
An employment tribunal awarded Damian Anysz, who had been working at Sizzlers restaurant in, Magherafelt, County Londonderry, £14,000 in reflection of the racial discrimination and harassment he was subjected to and £1,204.88 because he was not provided with a contract.
The tribunal heard of multiple instances of racial abuse directed at Anysz by colleague June Fullerton, including an instance where she responded to him asking if she needed assistance with "you should go back to your own fucking country".
The chef, who worked at the restaurant from November 2016 to May 2017, complained to the deputy manager and Fullerton apologised. However the tribunal heard that she went on to refer to him as a "fucking foreigner" again saying that he should go back to his country.
Employment Judge Browne heard of continuing verbal abuse as well as an allegation that Fullerton slammed a fridge drawer on his arm and deliberately collided with him as he carried a metal tray.
The tribunal concluded that Fullerton's abusive behaviour was "vocal contempt for the claimant's foreign origin, and the fact that he had come to Northern Ireland to live and work".
Fullerton had been suspended while an investigation was carried out by restaurant owner Kate Clarke, but she returned to work at its conclusion despite having said she might repeat the racist language in the future. After the suspension Anysz was not updated to the situation and continued to feel he was being undermined by Fullerton.
The tribunal said Clarke had failed to take action promptly and when she did investigate "the seriousness in which the investigation was conducted was significantly undermined by the placatory language used in the letter to the perpetrator. This included thanking her for her co-operation, when in fact she had failed to turn up without prior notice or satisfactory explanation. It also thanked her for her patience." The judgement also highlighted the stark contrast between this and the complete lack of communication with Anysz.
The tribunal was satisfied that this failure "was not an omission but part of a deliberate course of action, resulting in the behaviour continuing, albeit in a less overt form".
Picture: Google images
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