Sikh sues his former employer after he claims he was racially harassed by colleagues

hmctsA devout Sikh is suing his former employer, a Saudi Arabia-based bank, in the Employment Tribunal after he claims he was racially harassed and discriminated at work, as well as being unfairly dismissed.

Mr Harminder Dhanota started working for Samba Financial Services in July 2011 as an IT manager after having worked in Information Technology for a period of 15 years. However, he claims that he was harassed and discriminated against by colleagues during his employment at the bank and that he was dismissed in October 2012 because he had made complaints regarding the treatment he had been subjected to.

The case came to the Employment Tribunal last week, with both Mr Dhanota and former colleagues of his giving evidence. Mr Dhanota claimed that the discriminatory behaviour commenced in January 2013, with his line manager, a Mr Tanna, showing him porn on a mobile phone and boasting about organising prostitutes for “dirty Arab” business associates. He also claimed that Mr Tanna offended him by asking him whether he was “shagging” female colleagues and that his line manager would punch his arm, twist his fingers and whack him on the hand with a ruler. Mr Dhanota stated that he asked Mr Tanna in January 2012 to stop his behaviour and that he found his actions offensive. He also claims that he reported the matter confidentially to Human Resources but that no action was taken to stop Mr Tanna.

Mr Dhanota also gave evidence that other managers at the financial services firm had humiliated him on the grounds of his religion, with one manager asking whether his turban flashed red in the event of an emergency and another pinning a sticky note to the back of his turban which said “sign here” on it. Mr Dhanota was subsequently dismissed on the contended ground of poor performance but he claims that he was dismissed because he complained about the discriminatory and harassing treatment that he was subjected to.

The Employment Tribunal case continues.