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Exclusion because of alleged lack of command of English language was discriminatory

Makbool Javaid

In Khawaja v Transport for London, K, who is of South Asian Pakistani origin, claimed that Ms Clarke, his manager, subjected him to direct race discrimination by allegedly commenting “since English is not your first language, I did not assign you to attend any conference calls or operations centre huddles. I think that you may give the wrong information due to your lack of command of the English Language” and, as a result, denying him the opportunity to attend calls and huddles. C denied making the comment, but accepted that if she had, she would not say this to someone who was White British. The ET upheld K’s claim, finding that: (a) C had made the comment as it was corroborated by one of the employer’s own witnesses; (b) a hypothetical comparator, not of South Asian Pakistani origin, would have been allowed to attend huddles and conference calls; and (c) K had been treated less favourably, but the employer was unable to show that his treatment was in no sense whatsoever because of race.

The updates are kindly provided by Simons Muirhead & Burton Law firm

This update provides summary information and comment on the subject areas covered. Where employment tribunal and appellate court cases are reported, the information does not set out all of the facts, the legal arguments presented and help judgments made in every aspect of the case. Click on the links to access full details. If no link is provided, contact us for more information.  Employment law is subject to constant change either by statute or by interpretation by the courts. While every care has been taken in compiling this information, SM&B cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Specialist legal advice must be taken on any legal issues that may arise before embarking upon any formal course of action.

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