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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: UK Employment Law
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Hi! I have been racially descriminated at work and I wold

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I have been racially descriminated at work and I wold like to know how I can protect myself?

Kind Regards,

Sophiah L
Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today. Could you please explain your situation in a bit more detail
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Ok. I work for Italian Company since 4th of March'13. There are 5 of us in the office 4 Italians and me - Russian. From 9am till 12noon they speak Italian only and I don't speak Italian so I don't understand a word..... My bosses are Italian too. And one of them - boss X did not like another Russian girl who worked here and got rid off her, but she kept for 7 months 2 Italian girls who did NO work and now I am re-doing all their work and that boss X knew it and still kept them because she enjoying speak Italian to them and treat them like daughters pretending that all work has been done and charging clients a lot of money. And lately she she began to point on "my errors" as she thought were mine but I proved her that it was those 2 girls who made these mistakes and she kept quiet..... Today one of the Italian girls who just joined a company has been checking my work and instead of asking me about transactions I've posted on the system she asked boss X about these transactions in Italian and then them 2 were discussing my work in Italian in front of me like I am not here......

Kind Regards,

If you are being treated detrimentally because of your nationality then that could indeed amount to race discrimination, which is unlawful in the workplace. You will have automatic protection against such behaviour, although you cannot prevent the employer or its employees from continuing with it. If that is the case and you are still being discriminated, you have a couple of options, which are as follows:

1. You can raise a grievance with your employer to formally complain about the way you are being treated. The employer would have a legal duty to investigate this complaint and deal with it appropriately.

2. If the grievance has not helped and you are still being discriminated, you can consider making claim for race discrimination in the employment tribunal and seek compensation for 'injury to feelings'. You only have a time limit of 3 months to claim from the date of the alleged discrimination so make sure that you do not just leave this and go beyond the time limit you have to claim by.

3. Finally, you are able to resign at any time and leave the company, although you cannot make a claim for constructive dismissal because you do not have at least a year's continuous service with this employer. Therefore, the only legal claim you can make is the race discrimination one as mentioned above.

I would be grateful if you could please take a second to leave a positive rating. Your question will not close and I can continue providing further advice if necessary. Thank you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Dear Ben,

My questio is "If I am being treated detrimentally because of your nationality?"


Sorry what exactly is your question...
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Sorry. My question is: whether or not I have been treated detrimentally or been descriminated because of my nationality in the situations I described above?

Well that depends on whether the reason for the way you are being treated has anything to do with your nationality. I can't say with certainty whether that is the case or not but to prove that this is the case you need to compare yourself to someone from a different nationality and show that they are getting better treatment than you, which could only really be attributed to them being of a different nationality.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Those 2 girls has been working in the company for a year and done no work. Now I re-done their work because it was done incorrectly. This boss X trying to find mistakes in my work and she does not speak to me all day but she does speak to Italian girls all day.... And one of those girls was on higher salary than me, i saw Payroll report
there are facts here to suggest this is race discrimination but it would be down to the employer to show whether there are other objectively justifiable factors which would provide a reason for the way you are being treated detrimentally. if they can show that then a claim can be potentially defended.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you. How about your colleques speak Italian 7 hours a day and you feel completely ignored and left alone by them because you don't understand anything? Treating human being as a human? and respect his dignity?
There is no requirement to only speak one language in the workplace and employees are free to speak any language they want. However, if in the process it becomes apparent that employees like you, who do not speak the main language, are left out, and suffer detrimental treatment as a result, then that could be indirect race discrimination.

As your original question has been answered I would be grateful if you could please quickly rate my answer - it only takes a second to do. I can then continue providing further advice and answer follow up questions if needed. Thank you.
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