Max Lansman represents local authority in harassment claim by ex-employee

06 June 2024

Max Lansman acted for a local authority that successfully defended racial harassment claims by an ex-employee. After a 4-day hearing the employment tribunal dismissed all the claims.

Background to the proceedings 

From April 2021 until July 2022, the claimant, IFL worked as a senior carer at a care home managed by the local authority. She went on sick leave from February 2022 until she was made redundant.

The claim

IFL claimed that while working at the care home:

  • she was harassed on the grounds of race under the Equality Act 2010 (4-16)
  • she was attacked by a colleague with a food trolley because of her ethnic background/origin
  • although employed as a senior care worker she was “forced to carry out the duties of a carer/cleaner”
  • her qualifications/experience were undervalued, and
  • her name was intentionally misspelt.

Tribunal findings

Following Max’s cross-examination in which he put inconsistencies and lack of clarity in the claimant’s account to her, the tribunal found that:

  • the trolley incident did not occur as IFL alleged, her evidence was inconsistent and she had deliberately exaggerated and changed her story
  • her duties were the same as those of a Senior Carer and she was not forced to carry out the duties of a carer/cleaner
  • IFL’s evidence about a manager’s comment disparaging her qualifications was insufficiently clear; and
  • her name had been abbreviated rather than misspelt

The tribunal found that IFL’s claim was out of time but that in any case it would not have succeeded.