Race Discrimination Claims Leeds

What Is Race Discrimination?

Race or racial discrimination is the act of being treated in a prejudiced manner due to an employee’s race, assumed race or from being associated with somebody of a different race. The definition of race can be determined by nationality, assumed nationality, citizenship, colour, ethnic minority or ethnic origin.

 Prejudice or unfair treatment can be seen as continual and on-going abusive behaviour or a one-off act of abusive behaviour. Acts of race discrimination aren’t always intentional, but are carried out as a result of the employee’s race; these acts may be delivered to new or existing company rules and regulations.

There are four main areas of race discrimination. They are:

  • Direct discrimination
  • Indirect discrimination
  • Harassment

All employees are covered by regulations outlined in the Equality Act 2010. Race discrimination covers all employees,including management, contract or agency workers, freelancers, self-employed staff, trainees, apprentices and also job applicants.

The Equality Act 2010

The Equality Act 2010 dictates the many areas of race and race perception, defining the legal areas of race discrimination that are liable for prosecution. Protection from prejudice and abuse is outlined for individuals or groups or people who share characteristics of race. Race includes both nationality and citizenship as part of the demographic and can consist of multiple group demographics, whether by nationality, ethnicity, or colour, for example:

  • Black British
  • British Asians
  • Irish Travellers
  • Romany Gypsies

Direct Race Discrimination

Direct race discrimination is carried out when an employee is treated in a less favourable manner than another employee due to their race or colour. Typical examples of this kind of behaviour, when compared to an employee of the same level of efficiency, are:

  • Being overlooked for a pay increase
  • Being overlooked for a promotion
  • Being accused of customer objection
  • Excluding an employee from a business operation
  • Being denied management positions or further responsibility roles
  • Being overlooked for a particular account or sale
  • Being overlooked for an advantageous position or opportunity

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Indirect Race Discrimination

It is perceived as indirect discrimination when company policy or rules that at first don’t appear to be race specific puts any employee of another race or ethnic minority at a disadvantage. If any rule cannot show a positive business aim or legitimate business outcome, then it can be considered for discrimination. A typical example could be where employees are ordered to be clean-shaven, affecting specific religious groups.A dress code with no practical or safety merit could be applied to disadvantage an employee of a particular religion, race and culture; this is also considered indirect discrimination.

Examples of areas in employment where indirect discrimination is shown to be acceptable can include:

  • Acting
  • Modelling
  • Welfare services
  • Food and drink industry roles, where race and ethnicity are expected to retain the authenticity of a culture or ethnic minority

Racial Harassment

Acts shown to disrespect or intimidate an employee of a different race, ethnicity or national origin are considered to be racial harassment and are covered by race discrimination. Any employee being harassed by means of degrading, humiliating or offensive behaviour has grounds for prosecution. The definition of inappropriate racial conduct takes into consideration how the behaviour is delivered and how the victim receives it, the victim’s perception of the delivery and their reaction to it. The harasser may try and cover for their behaviour, claiming it to be harmless or light-hearted; in these cases, the victim’s perception of disrespect and unwanted conduct is the outlining factor.

Examples of harassment can include most inappropriate behaviour types, including:

  • Abusive language
  • Physical abuse
  • Bullying
  • Excessive monitoring
  • Excessive criticism

Racial harassment can also include discrimination by association. If a white employee is personally offended when witnessing harassing behaviour of a black colleague, they can also make a claim against the behaviour delivered towards a black colleague.

An employer is also liable to racial harassment applied to an employee by third parties under the Equality Act. These can include any customer, client, supplier, patient, delivery staff, trainer, or other associates that an employee may come into contact with during their work role. An employer must take action to prevent further occurrences of race harassment where a member of staff has been subject to discrimination on at least 2 previous occasions. It is the employer’s duty to rectify the situation; if they fail to do so, then they may be liable for action.

Racial Victimisation

Victimisation occurs when an employee is treated unreasonably as a result of claiming against race discrimination or helping a work colleague to do so. Victimisation can also be seen as discrimination when inappropriate action is carried out towards an employer or colleague under the assumption that they made or helped a colleague with a racial discrimination complaint.

Employer And Employee Liability

When it comes to discrimination claims, both the employer and the employee acting in a discriminatory manner are liable for prosecution. The employer’s role is to provide a safe and suitable workplace for their employees, to protect workers from abusive and unwarranted behaviour, whether from co-workers or third parties connected to the business.

Claims can be raised through an employment tribunal where any complaint against acts of discrimination have been made but haven’t been processed to a satisfactory outcome for the claimant.

Any act of discrimination dictated by an employee’s working role is called vicarious liability and is the responsibility of the employer.

If an accusation is brought before an employer, they are expected to supply a defence against the charges, explaining any areas of acceptable behaviour relevant to the role, and what steps they had taken to resolve the problem before legal proceedings were brought against them, whether that be through court action or an employment tribunal.

Providing Proof Of Discrimination

When an employee makes a claim of race discrimination, they must provide proof that an act of discrimination has occurred. When a tribunal is raised, the agreement or belief in this information, or belief in half of the information, is enough to validate the claim for prosecution.

Providing proof of direct discrimination is often difficult as employers can take various steps in appearing lawful to avoid prosecution. Some cases are easier to prove than others; equal pay or promotion issues, for example, can be investigated by the comparison of employees work records.

Making A Race Discrimination Claim

Claims must be made within 3 months from when the act or most recent act of discrimination happened. Employees must have followed the ACAS Early Conciliation Scheme before submitting a claim to an employment tribunal.

Any issue should be dealt with according to the individual businesses complaints procedure. Line managers should be instructed of any problems before approaching an employer. Verbal complaints should be made initially, followed by a written application if a satisfactory resolution isn’t reached for the party bringing the discrimination claim. If all correct procedure has been followed without resolve, then the matter can be brought to an employment tribunal.

To settle a race discrimination claim, the employer is recommended to take steps to correct the unwarranted behaviour against the claimant. They must remove any rules or regulations that allow discrimination to happen, and an amount of compensation is awarded to the employee who raised the complaint.

There is no cap for the amount of compensation in race discrimination cases. Award amounts are made in conjunction with injury to feelings and suffered losses. Typical losses include wages and pensions. The Court of Appeal provides 3 bands of compensation dependant on the seriousness of the claim. They range from £900 for less serious cases up to over £40,000 for the most serious.

At ESL, our team of race discrimination specialist solicitors will manage your claim with both professionalism and sensitivity, and always in accordance with your legal rights.

Contact Employment Solicitors Leeds Now

You can call on 0113 4334 118 or fill up enquire form for an initial consultation regarding your employment position. We will offer you complete and full advice in easy to understand terms to help you to establish the most likely outcomes for your case in a relaxed and pressure-free environment.

We understand how difficult this time can be, so our expertly trained staff deliver all of our services with empathy and understanding. It is entirely up to you whether you decide to pursue your claim or not. We’re here to help you make those critical decisions backed by years of experience and industry knowledge.

Our Team

Craig McCracken

Craig McCracken

Craig McCracken is a Director in our employment team who also specialises in employment law with over 14 years’ experience in dealing with both contentious and non-contentious matters.In the most recent Legal 500 clients described Louise as being “accessible and down to earth” providing “clear and concise advice…in an exceptionally personable way”. Craig was described as “very knowledgeable and approachable” giving “sound advice”.

Louise Carr

Louise Carr

Our team is headed up by Louise Carr who had specialised in employment law for more than 15 years. She regularly appears in the employment tribunal and has been particularly involved in dealing with complex multi-day discrimination claims.

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