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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

Immediate response to my initial enquiry. Very clear throughout the whole process and thorough and great communication which worked really well during quite a stressful time. Chris Hadrill was extremely helpful and made me feel at ease.

Posted 2 months ago

Nick D

I received a very professional service from Chris. The advice given really helped to leave me comfortable to sign the settlement agreement following my redundancy. Would be happy to recommend your services to others.

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Posted 3 months ago

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Posted 3 months ago

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Posted 3 months ago

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Posted 3 months ago

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Posted 3 months ago

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Posted 3 months ago

Redman's provided excellent legal employment advice for me during a difficult time in my employment. Chris was my lawyer, super efficient, quick, reliable and clearly very experienced in the matter. Could not ask for a better law firm to deal with your query if you are in need of some help. Would definitely use them again in the future. Highly recommending Chris.

Posted 7 months ago

Steven

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Posted 7 months ago

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Posted 7 months ago

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At Redmans the solicitor that was dealing with me was Chris. He dealt with my situation smoothly with clear guidance and explanation

Posted 7 months ago

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Posted 8 months ago

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Very efficient service. I never had to wIt for more than a day for a reply to any of my queries and the matter was dealt with swiftly.

Posted 8 months ago

Anonymous

Very timely, thorough and helpful advice. Friendly and considerate of the needs of the client

Posted 8 months ago

Anonymous

Very prompt and attention to detail. Thank you for the service

Posted 8 months ago

Chris

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Posted 8 months ago

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Posted 8 months ago

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Posted 8 months ago

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Posted 8 months ago

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