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Porsche salesman wins unfair dismissal claim after racist abuse

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

In the case of Rathod v Pendragon Sabre Limited, Shailesh Rathod, 49, was the only non-white salesman at the Porsche dealership. A Tribunal heard he was subjected to practical jokes and given racist nicknames. He became the target of racist jokes and was called ‘chapati’ and ‘poppadom’ by his colleagues.

Rathod said he had “no choice” but to “go along” at the workplace because he was an “outsider “trying to integrate”. At one point, he brought McDonald’s for the sales team on Saturday. He brought his son because he wasn’t working. A male colleague threw a banana on the floor from his son and said, “I want to see his reaction,” before “laughing hard.”

After the toxic culture affected his mental and physical health, Mr. Rathod complained to the Porsche garage boss in Sutton Coldfield in the West Mid, especially about a colleague named only “Oliver” but his concerns were dismissed.

In his ruling, Judge Clark said: ‘All the sales staff were male. There are female employees in other roles.

‘I find the culture was laddish, crude and immature and this manifested in the day-to-day interactions in the workplace on the sales floor. This particular laddish culture developed a more sinister level as it was infected by the overt prejudices, opinions and attitudes of some of its members.’

Mr Rathod won his claim of unfair dismissal and compensation will be determined at a later hearing.

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