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Employment

Firearms officer subjected to race discrimination

Our client is a firearms officer of Pakistani heritage and works for Cleveland Police. In his career, he has been a close protection or VIP officer for a Prime Minister, a Home Secretary and a protection driver for members of the royal family.

18 June 2015

Our client experienced some racism within the police in the early stages of his career and he tolerated this without raising a formal complaint. However, when his status as a VIP officer was removed in 2011 for questionable reasons, he raised a formal complaint and, subsequently, an employment tribunal claim.

Wanting to progress his career, our client settled this claim for no money, but with an agreement from Cleveland Police that they would provide him with equal access to training opportunities to regain his status as a VIP officer and take steps to stop discrimination happening again.

Sadly this agreement didn’t resolve matters for our client and his 2011 complaints led to a catalogue of unfair treatment.

Hopeful of positive change, our client became involved in an “Equality Review” ran by Cleveland Police. The review was intended to analyse perceptions and evidence of discrimination in Cleveland Police and drive positive change within the organisation.

Our client resigned from the equality review in frustration and was subjected to further victimisation as a result. Our client’s status as an authorised firearms officer was then removed. This discriminatory treatment led our client to submit another employment tribunal claim for race discrimination.

Slater and Gordon were instructed to act and we argued that our client had been victimised because of the complaints of race discrimination that he’d made. We also argued that our client had been treated less favourably than white police officers because of his race.

The case was difficult. There was no overt evidence that our client’s colleagues had discriminated against him because of his race.

Discrimination law states that an employment tribunal is entitled to draw inferences from the surrounding facts to conclude that discrimination has occurred. Once this initial burden is proven, discrimination will be found unless the employer can show that any unfair treatment was wholly unconnected with race.

We helped our client draw out a complex set of facts relating to over 20 allegations of discrimination and argued that the Tribunal should draw inferences from those facts to conclude that discrimination had occurred.

The Employment Tribunal upheld 16 separate allegations of discrimination. They concluded that our client had been victimised because of his previous complaints and discriminated against because of his race.

The tribunal found that some of our client’s managers had made stereotypical assumptions about him because of his race and those assumptions had led them to treat him less favourably than his white counterparts.

Related practice areas:

Race discrimination

The Equality Act 2010 Constructive and unfair dismissal

Difference between contractual and statutory employment rights

If you have any questions about this case study or would like to speak to an employment lawyer, call us for a free consultation on 0161 830 9632 or contact us online.

All information was correct at the time of publication.

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