Tesco guard wins €24k af­ter tak­ing racial abuse case to EAT

Irish Daily Mail - - News - By Gor­don Dee­gan news@dai­ly­mail.ie

TESCO Ire­land has been crit­i­cised by the Em­ploy­ment Ap­peals Tri­bunal over its treat­ment of an African se­cu­rity man who was racially abused by a store man­ager.

The re­buke came as the tri­bunal awarded Ni­co­las Alayi €24,000 when it found he was con­struc­tively dis­missed by Tesco from one of its Lim­er­ick city stores.

In a hard-hit­ting de­ci­sion, the EAT de­scribed the lack of ac­tion by Tesco Ire­land over the in­ci­dent be­tween Mr Alayi and a Tesco man­ager as ‘in­ex­pli­ca­ble’.

The tri­bunal stated that ‘even more ex­traor­di­nary’ was Tesco Ire­land’s pro­posal that Mr Alayi ‘move to a dif­fer­ent store, rather than mov­ing the man­ager’. It said this was ‘in­ap­pro­pri­ate and un­fair’.

The EAT also found Tesco Ire­land took no ac­tion to en­sure the store man­ager apol­o­gised to Mr Alayi.

The flash­point came when a Tesco store man­ager, re­ferred to only as DMcE in the EAT re­port, is al­leged to have told Mr Alayi: ‘Do you think a Black will have ac­cess to the high­value spe­cial­ity cig­a­rette room?’, just af­ter 9am on May 23, 2014.

Mr Alayi – who had worked for Tesco since 2007 – said DMcE was shout­ing ag­gres­sively at him to not let any­one near the cig­a­rette room.

The tri­bunal found that DMcE had sub­jected Mr Alayi ‘to an un­pro­voked and ag­gres­sive ver­bal out­burst’.

Mr Alayi lodged a grievance con­cern­ing DMcE’s treat­ment of him, and dur­ing the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, DMcE ad­mit­ted that he had in­cluded the phase ‘would you let a black stranger into that room’ when ad­dress­ing Mr Alayi.

The group’s per­son­nel man­ager, named only as AM in the re­port, car­ried out an in­ves­ti­ga­tion and found DMcE did make ‘in­ap­pro­pri­ate’ com­ments and rec­om­mended DMcE apol­o­gise to Mr Alayi.

Mr Alayi was un­happy with these find­ings and at­tended an ap­peal hear­ing on Oc­to­ber 10, 2014, which rec­om­mended he apol­o­gise.

At an EAT hear­ing in Lim­er­ick, Mr Alayi said Tesco of­fered him an al­ter­na­tive role in another store, but that he did not want to trans­fer to another store as he en­joyed work­ing in his cur­rent place.

He also felt it was un­fair that he was rec­om­mended to move and not DMcE. Mr Alayi re­signed from his job in Jan­uary 2015.

In its de­ter­mi­na­tion, the EAT stated that it found the lack of ac­tion by Tesco Ire­land over the May 2014 in­ci­dent as ‘in­ex­pli­ca­ble’.

The tri­bunal found that the fail­ure by Tesco Ire­land to fol­low through on its own find­ing of an in­ap­pro­pri­ate com­ment, and the man­ager’s and Tesco Ire­land’s sub­se­quent con­duct, jus­ti­fied Mr Alayi be­liev­ing that he had been con­struc­tively dis­missed.

‘Would you let a black stranger in?’

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.