I was employed as a Machine Operator within a factory, and had worked for them for over 10 years. I and other black people who had worked at the factory had regularly been subjected to monkey noises and gestures. I am muslim and one white member of staff used to write islamophobic messages to me. He told me he used to be a nazi and was now in the BNP. I and other black staff had complained about the racial harassment and the incidents were investigated none of the white employees were punished for their behaviour. One day I had complained about the same white and Asian employee making monkey noises towards me. Soon after this these two had made false allegations that I had made a racist gesture at the Asian employee. The company quickly suspended me, investigated the incident, concluded that I was guilty even though six other witnesses supported my story. The firm dismissed me even though none of the witnesses who allegedly saw this gesture stated that they had seen it.
I approached Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council (NREC) who helped me make a claim to an Employment Tribunal for unfair dismissal and racial and religious discrimination because I am of African origin and muslim. NREC had pointed out the strengths of my case to the company and eventually the matter was settled financially without the need for me to go to the employment Tribunal full hearing which was soon to come.
Had I not approached Northamptonshire Rights and Equality Council I would have lost my job and received no money, I have received a five figure settlement so I can get on with my life.
*The names have been changed to hide the identity of the Claimants and Respondents.
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