A black McDonald’s worker in Birmingham has reported that she was told that she couldn’t get any more shifts by her manager because two of her black colleagues were under-performing.
18-year-old university student, Divine Tenn was working part-time at a McDonald’s branch in Birmingham on a zero hours contract. She had been doing an average of four shifts a week from March 2014 to July 2015 when she noticed her shifts were cut without an explanation as to why.
She then spoke to some of her fellow employees, who were also black, and found that they had also not been able to pick up any shifts. After making this discovery, Divine rang her manager. She recorded her conversation with the store’s assistant manager and was horrified at what he said.
The recorded telephone conversation includes her manager telling Divine “the black people can’t take no shifts” because “they’re not performing.” He also insisted that this was store policy and would apply to all the black staff, which accounted for a third of the store workers in this Birmingham branch.
Divine quit McDonald’s in protest against race discrimination. She said she couldn’t believe that racism still exists in this day and age and felt disgusted at how the company, who she had been loyal to for over a year, could treat her as they did.
The assistant manager who made the comments no longer works for the fast food giant, who have put support in place for their staff who have been affected by the incident. McDonald’s have said they are “an inclusive employer and any incidences of discrimination against our employees will not be tolerated.”
Julie Morris, National Practice Group Leader in the Employment team at Slater and Gordon commented: “It is shocking that overt race discrimination of this sort still exists in UK workplaces. Less favourable treatment because of a worker’s race or colour has been unlawful for almost 40 years. If you are subject to such treatment, it is important to realise that there are avenues to seek redress both internally through an employer’s own procedures and if necessary through the Employment Tribunal.”
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Slater and Gordon Lawyers work on many race discrimination cases every year. If you have experienced race discrimination at work our Employment Solicitors can provide you with immediate representation anywhere in the UK. For legal advice call us on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online.