Are you thinking of making a race discrimination against your employer or are you an employer looking to protect yourself against a race discrimination claims? 
 
Very recently the leader of the UKIP party’s girlfriend made racist remarks about Meaghan Markel. Stories like this often hit the headlines and remind us that racism and discrimination is still very much part of our lives. 
 
A few weeks ago we were told about a Claimant who had been called a “fat ginger pikey”, “salad dodger” and “fat yoda”. His claim for race discrimination in the Employment Tribunal failed. Although the comments were clearly shocking, the Claimant was unsuccessful because the Tribunal took his failure to complain promptly to mean that he was not actually offended. However, the Tribunal could have found discrimination if the circumstances had been even slightly different. 
The Tribunal said that the ‘fat ginger pikey’ comment was the worst allegation but having looked at it in context, it was very unlikely that it was intended to upset the Claimant. Particularly because the individual who made the comment was not aware of the Claimant’s links to the traveller community. But there could easily have been a different outcome. 
 
Discrimination claims are sometimes complicated, even where there are shocking allegations. Time issues can be a problem. We would always advise our clients to take advice as quickly as possible. Any claim for discrimination must be brought within 3 months of the last discriminatory act. If you have been the victim of racial discrimination in the workplace or if you are an employer who is investigating allegations of discrimination, please contact us for advice. 
It is also important for an employer to have clear equality policies in place. If necessary they should provide training to their staff members so that they are aware of the employer’s stance on equality and equal opportunities. This can be invaluable in any defence. 
 
We can assist you with reviewing your equality policies and if you do not have any in place we would be happy to provide you with one. 
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