After receiving an “outrageous and discriminatory” phone call from her employer, an office worker has been awarded almost £82,000 for claims of racial and gender harassment.
SN Estates Property Services is known as an independent and well-established Estate Agents serving Central London and the surrounding areas. Ms Subeena Khan worked with them for five months, between March 6 and August 7, 2017, in admin and accounts. She made 14 claims against the firm, succeeding in seven for race-related harassment and two for gender-related harassment.
The allegations made against Mr M Miah and the firm include “Paki comments”, and constructive dismissal, with claims for notice and holiday pay.
One of the incidents noted by the tribunal took place in April 2017. This was where Miah called Khan into an office and began talking about personal matters, in turn, showing her photos of his daughter. Miah spoke of his disappointment that she had married a Pakistani man, using a racial slur to describe his ethnicity.
Ms Khan also said she had suffered from stress, especially after an incident where she had to deal with an “abusive rant” from her employer. He became insulting towards her, reusing the racial slur in conjunction with other swear words, and said: “You can’t even do your jobs properly, you retards from all corners of the world.” After not attending work the next day, or the following day, after this incident, she said she was harassed by phone calls and voicemails.
The tribunal said: “This was not acceptable towards an employee who was off sick and we agree that it was of a harassing nature.” She said she suffered from sleeplessness, anxiety, paranoia and agoraphobia, which was confirmed by a medical report. The psychiatrist said that NHS treatment had not worked and he recommended skilled private treatment.
Initially, she was awarded £100,877, but this was cut to £81,833 at the London Central Employment Tribunal after the respondents applied for reconsideration. This was when the award of £34,000 made for Ms Khan’s psychiatric injuries was seen as “manifestly excessive”, and the tribunal said there was some ambiguity in the psychiatrist’s report. Therefore, the original award was reduced by just over £19,000.
What is harassment?
Bullying and harassment are two very serious issues to occur in the workplace, which are seen as demeaning and unacceptable. Examples of harassment include creating environments of humiliation, hostility, offensiveness, degradation or intimidation, violating the individual’s dignity in the workplace. When there is bullying and harassment taking place that falls into one of the EA categories, a claim can be taken to an Employment Tribunal within three months and one day of the date of the discrimination.
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