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MoJA former employee of a Scottish oil company has won his claim for unfair dismissal after he was fired for gross misconduct last year.

Mr David Williamson, who had worked for 25 years for Scotoil Group, was fired from his job in 2013 after it was alleged by the company that he had been racially harassing agency staff at the firm.

Mr Williamson, who his from Aberdeen, complained along with other workers that a Polish contract worker they were working with couldn’t follow English safety instructions for high-pressure cleaning equipment. A complaint was subsequently made by this employee that he was being harassed by Mr Williamson and other workers and Mr Williamson was subsequently disciplined, with this disciplinary resulting in Mr Williamson being dismissed for racially motivated bullying and harassment.

The former Scotoil employee subsequently brought a claim for unfair dismissal and wrongful dismissal against the company, with his claim coming to the Employment Tribunal earlier this year. Mr Williamson, giving evidence in his favour, claimed that he had only submitted his concerns regarding the safety of other employees and that his comments were not supposed to be construed as racially offensive or constituting harassment.

The Employment Tribunal, chaired by Employment Judge Ian McFatridge, ruled in Mr Williamson’s favour in the claim, holding that the firm had “no reasonable grounds” to believe that Mr Williamson’s conduct was intended to harass or discriminate against the Polish employee and, further, that the firm had failed to distinguish between “legitimate comment” and alleged “racially-motivated bullying and harassment”. Judge McFatridge also commented that Mr Williamson had been treated in a different fashion to other employees.

Mr Williamson was awarded £30,000 in lost earnings for his claim for unfair dismissal.

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans Solicitors, commented on the case: “Employers must undertake a fair investigation when disciplining employees, with that investigation focussing on specific allegations, fact-finding on those allegations, and making a reasonable decision based upon those facts. Employers must also treat employees in a fair manner and must not ‘discriminate’ by, for example, investigating one employee but not investigating others. If such conduct occurs then it is likely that a dismissed employee would succeed with a claim for unfair dismissal.”

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Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

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Testimonials

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Anonymous

I requested Redmans services on a redundancy case. Both Chris and Rana were great, thoughtful, very professional and responded quickly. They were very clear throughout the entire process, regarding the process and my options and I couldn't feel I had better legal advice for my case. Overall excellent service and I would certainly recommend and use their services again.

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Anonymous

Responsive, patient, thorough and personable - an excellent service.

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Anonymous

The team at Redmans, Chris Hadrill and Sacha Barrett were always very helpful and had expert knowledge to assist me during my employment law matter, I would not hesitate to recommend them to all!

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Chris was punctual, attentive and accurate. He answered my questions with clarity and avoided dubiosity. I would recommend him to anyone seeking legal advice within his remit.

Posted 5 days ago

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Great service

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Excellent, professional service and a speedy resolution. Many thanks

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Sacha and Chris were both very helpful in closing out my matter. Sacha was very clear in helping me understanding the documents I needed reviewing, providing a professional service throughout.

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Really pleased with the swift and professional service from Redmans. They provided very clear advice and helped conclude my matter with the minimum of stress or delay.

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Excellent service, prompt replies, great advice

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Margaret

Redmans Solicitors took a lot of the worry away and were very thoughtful and meticulous in their dealings with my case , thank you very mush , great service and a great job

Posted 1 month ago

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Prompt efficient service. Hourly, and part thereof, billing got a bit stressful at times - as opposed to flat fee - made me think twice about sending an email or making a quick call when I had a query because it would have eaten up minutes from my budget. But happy with the legal service I received overall and would recommend.

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Anonymous

Chris Hadrill has provided a truly wonderful service and was willing to lend his support and expertise at a time when other solicitors, only wanted to discuss their fees! A clear thinking and down to earth professional, Chris can be trusted to listen carefully to your matter, cut through the fog, and advise you on the best (and most realistic) way forward, saving you time, money and heartache. It will be helpful if you first get your ducks in a row in terms of documents / evidence etc. and then contact Chris, (that’s what we did) as this will help your matter to be dealt with faster. The more organised and together you are the more successful you will be. You'll be fine with Chris, I highly recommend him. Good luck!

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Excellent Service

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Very professional and thorough. Sachs who dealt with the bulk of my case was excellent Thank you. .

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I was generally impressed with the fast turn around, efficiency, responsiveness, and consideration of circumstances. I needed a couple of areas of advice quickly and with Redmans help was able to get to a conclusion quickly and with minimum stress. They were friendly and professional throughout - I'd use them again.

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Anonymous

The guidance and assistance I recently received when using Redman's was fantastic. Caroline & Chris were both very informative and understanding walking me through each step. Thank you.

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