The alleged racist abuse Everton footballers Arouna Koné and Steven Pienaar suffered in the FA Cup fourth round against Carlisle highlights how unfortunately racism isn’t dead.
The insults directed towards Koné and Pienaar were from a minority group in the crowd after Everton scored a goal at Brunton Park. This shows that hostile comments and racist remarks are still made today.
Once the players complained to referee Lee Mason he spoke to the fourth official and managers Roberto Martinez and Keith Curle. Announcements over the stadium PA system followed shortly afterwards saying that racist behaviour is unacceptable.
Sadly, these premier league football players are not the only people who will suffer racial discrimination at work. Ordinary workers face demeaning, bullying comments like this in the workplace daily.
Any racist comment discriminating against an individual or group of people based on their nationality, ethnicity, colour or race is unlawful under The Equality Act 2010.
Disappointingly, many people who experience racial discrimination at work do not come forward and report the incident to their employer. Some are too scared to do so and others are unaware of what they should do and the protection they have from discrimination at work under UK law.
If you are in any way treated unfairly at work because of your nationality, ethnicity, colour or race you should report it to your employer. You can also report racist behaviour suffered by a colleague of yours. Talk to your line manager, or if it is your manager who is responsible for the racist behaviour speak with your HR representative.
Then, if the matter cannot be resolved on an informal basis you should raise a formal grievance with your employer. This involves writing down the complaints you have - detailing what happened, what was said by who, when and where. You should then be invited to a grievance hearing where you sit down with your employer to talk over the complaints made in writing in more detail.
If your employer does not follow this protocol or if you are subject to more discriminatory behaviour or dismissed you should bring a claim for racial discrimination.
Call the racial discrimination solicitors at Slater and Gordon Lawyers on freephone 0800 916 9060 or contact us online. Alternatively, for a free assessment of your race discrimination case you can complete this online race discrimination form.
Clive Howard is an employment lawyer at Slater and Gordon in London. He is an expert in discrimination cases.