Can calling someone a "fat ginger pikey" amount to harassment?


A salesman was dismissed after bringing no sales in during his first 11 months of employment, which wasn’t really surprising. He didn’t have two years’ service so couldn’t bring a claim for unfair dismissal. What was surprising, was the claim he did bring ….

Rather creatively, he brought race claim on the grounds that he had been called a “fat ginger pikey”. He also brought a claim for disability discrimination on the basis that he had type 1 diabetes and an under-active thyroid, which he blamed for his weight gain.

The Judge held that while the “fat ginger pikey” comment could have been considered harassment, but pointed out that the employee (who is part of the traveller community) had not been upset at the time the comment was made. He was also known to use the “c-word” in office conversations, which the judge said “makes it highly unlikely he would have been offended”.

The scale of the office banter was excessive, which he participated in freely. Had this not been the case, there on the face of it could have amounted to harassment. A warning to employers not to let such banter go beyond a reasonable level.


0 views

Copyright © 2019 BarrCo Limited.

 

All rights reserved. BarrCo Solicitors is the trading name of BarrCo Limited.

Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority: 551420 :

Registered Company in England and Wales: 7346373

  • Black LinkedIn Icon
  • Facebook - Black Circle
  • Black Twitter Icon