Worker loses discrimination claim after claiming his Quran was thrown “in the bin”

hmctsA worker has lost his Employment Tribunal claim after alleging that his employer had disrespected his religion and thrown his Quran in the bin.

Mr S Hussain made the Employment Tribunal claims for discrimination and unfair dismissal after he asserted that his employer had cleared out his locker, removing his Quran, and had disrespected and challenged his religion.

Mr Hussain, who was a security guard, gave evidence at the Employment Tribunal that the incident of alleged discrimination occurred when current employees were asked to clear out their lockers. Mr Hussain failed to clear out his locker and went on leave. When he returned from leave he found that his possessions had been removed from the locker and had been placed in a labelled bin bag, apparently alongside other labelled bin bags containing the possessions of other employees.

Mr Hussain told the Employment Tribunal that he had been “distressed” by this and that he was “shocked to find all [his] personal documents and stuff outside in a bin bag. He added that he had been “horrified” to find that his employer had placed his Holy Book Quran in a bin bag. Mr Hussain further stated under cross-examination in the Employment Tribunal that his possessions had been “put in a bin bag and placed on top of other bags in the waste bin.”

The Employment Tribunal rejected Mr Hussain’s claims for discrimination, holding that he had been “treated in the same way as the order guards in that their property was taken out of the old lockers for safe keeping, put in a bin gaf, as is quite normal, and labelled.” The Tribunal concluded that the placing of a Quran in a labelled bag was not an act of discrimination.

The Tribunal also held that Mr Hussain had exaggerated the facts in his matter, noting that at the time of his grievance he had not state that his possessions had been “thrown away” but by the time of the Employment Tribunal had been implying that his “personal property was being put out with the rubbish.”

The Employment Tribunal also rejected Mr Hussain’s claim for unfair dismissal.

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “Employees should be careful to detail the facts and substance of any grievance that they have in writing to their employers, whether their grievance relates to discrimination or otherwise. Doing so can create a timeline as to what happened and when and, further, could be invaluable evidence in any claim for discrimination.”