Muslim worker makes discrimination claim in Employment Tribunal against Odeon Cinemas

MoJA Muslim woman is suing one of the largest cinema chains in Birmingham after she alleged that she had been harassed and discriminated against by her colleagues.

Amal Hussein Abdi, has brought a claim in the Employment Tribunal against Odeon Cinemas in Birmingham after she claimed that she had been subjected to over 40 incidents of race discrimination and religious discrimination, and that she had been constructively dismissed from her job.

Ms Abdi’s claims came to a Preliminary Hearing in Birmingham last week, with Ms Abdi arguing that she should be allowed to take her claim to full hearing of the evidence. Giving evidence at the Preliminary Hearing, Ms Abdi alleged that she had been subjected to the following incidents of discrimination and harassment during the course of her employment with Odeon (among a number of other claims):

  • That she had been told that she could not go to the Christmas party for the Birmingham Odeon staff and that Ms Abdi believed that this was because of her race and religion
  • That unfavourable comments had been made about Ms Abdi’s har and race by a staff member; and
  • That a security guard had made a comment that upset her

Ms Abdi also claimed that she had been compelled to resign from her employment because of the treatment that she had been subjected to.

Odeon’s legal team opposed the continuance of Ms Abdi’s claims to a full hearing on the basis that she had little or no prospect of winning any of her claims. The business also denies all of Ms Abdi’s claims.

Employment Judge Lynn Findlay, presiding over the Preliminary Hearing, decided that a number of Ms Abdi’s claims could proceed to a full hearing, although various claims of discrimination and harassment were struck out as they were out of time.

Ms Abdi commented after the hearing that she wanted to attend the Christmas party and that her religion would have made no difference.

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans Solicitors, commented on the case: “Businesses must be careful to implement and train staff in equality procedures to avoid potential liability for discrimination and harassment claims. They must also take any complaints about discrimination and/or harassment in the workplace seriously and should investigate these promptly and effectively. If a business fails to take these steps then they may be opening themselves up to liability in a potentially expensive and time-consuming Employment Tribunal claim.”

The Employment Tribunal claim continues.