London salesman loses Employment Tribunal challenge

London salesman loses Employment Tribunal challenge

A London-based salesman who challenged his employer at an Employment Tribunal has lost his claims of racial and disability discrimination.

Mr David Evans, who worked at the London branch of US-based tech firm Xactly for several years, told an Employment Tribunal that he was a victim of workplace bullying and racial abuse.

He said that senior colleagues at Xactly would regularly hurl derogatory remarks and racial slurs at him in the workplace, referring to him as “a fat ginger pikey” and more.

The 34-year-old, who has a background in the travelling community, said that many of the remarks made about him – particularly those made by Regional Sales Manager Kevin Henderson – were racist.

He added that various comments made about his weight also amounted to disability discrimination, due to the fact he suffers from a thyroid condition.

Mr Evans described the workplace environment at Xactly’s London office as “one of beer, drinking, infighting, strip clubs and gambling.”

In response, officials representing the company told the Tribunal that Mr Evans had joined in with their “banter” on numerous occasions and had not previously raised any concerns.

Upon examining the claims, the Employment Tribunal found that Mr Evans was not a victim of harassment, as he did not issue any formal complaints about his bosses’ behaviour at the time and was unable to demonstrate a clear link between his illness and his weight gain.

A panel of Judges presiding over the case also found that Mr Evans’ colleagues were unaware that he had links with the traveller community.

Commenting on the case, Judge Joanna Wade, said: “By far the worst allegation is Mr Henderson’s ‘fat ginger pikey’ comment. This could have been harassment, but having looked at the context we conclude that it was not.

“The loose connection between the claimant and travellers makes it very unlikely that the comment was intended to upset him and indeed he agrees that Kevin Henderson would not have had that intention.”

“All the indications are that the claimant was not upset [by any of the comments] at the time.”