Alan McCormack | Senior Associate

Tesco worker sues supermarket over a colleague who ‘farted in his face’

An employee of supermarket chain Tesco has raised proceedings in the Employment tribunal after a colleague farted in his face.

Atif Masood, 42, has brought a claims for harassment and racial discrimination on the grounds of his religion. He alleges he was targeted due to the fact he is Muslim.

Mr Masood believes that the farting amounted to bullying. He believes that his employer failed to take the matter seriously.

Tesco disputes the claim even though they reviewed CCTV and found sufficient evidence to support his allegation. Mr Masood further alleges he was received verbal racial abuse referring to him as a terrorist.

Harassment, occurs where an employer engages in unwanted conduct related to a disability and that conduct has a purpose or effect of violating the employee’s dignity, or create an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for that employee.
However, when deciding on whether the contract has a “effect” the Tribunal must take into account the employee’s perception, all other circumstances and whether it was reasonable for the conduct to have that effect.

As such, an employer’s conduct will only be considered to have the necessary effect where it would be reasonable for it to have so. As such, this will require the Tribunal to assess the effect from both the employee’s subjective viewpoint, but also an objective assessment of the conduct.

An employer can be held accountable for the discriminatory actions of one of their employees.

Alan McCormack

Alan McCormack

Employment Law Team

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