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MoJA chef’s use of the word “gollywog” in front of a black colleague when referring to the old Robertsons jam jar label has been held by the Court of Appeal to constitute harassment.

Ms Denise Lindsay, 45, was working for the London School of Economics as a chef when the incident occurred at work. Mr Mark McAleese, who was also working as a chef, was speaking to another colleague about the Robertson jam jar when Ms Lindsay overheard the word being used. Ms Lindsay claimed that she was offended by the use of the word and subsequently made an Employment Tribunal claim for racial harassment.

The Central London Employment Tribunal originally upheld Ms Lindsay’s claim, holding that the use of the word created an “intimidating, degrading working environment” for her to work in at the University. However, the London School of Economics subsequently appealed and were successful at the Employment Appeal Tribunal. Ms Lindsay then appealed again and the matter reached the Court of Appeal this week.

The Court of Appeal upheld the original Employment Tribunal’s judgment, finding that “the most likely explanation was that Mr McAleese had used the word because of Miss Lindsay’s race”. Lord Justice Floyd, who gave the reasoning for the judgment stated “I have already accepted that the term ‘gollywog’ if used directly towards the appellant would be obviously racist and offensive. It was a word which he recognised could cause serious offence, at least if used insensitively. The tribunal was entitled to infer from the findings of fact which it did make that the most likely explanation was that Mr McAleese had used the word because of the appellant’s race.”

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans, commented: “The Court of Appeal clearly felt in this instance that the person in question had the purpose of potentially making the Claimant feel that the workplace was intimidating or degrading”.

About

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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David W

A speedy efficient friendly service, I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors for processing Settlement Agreements.

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Anonymous

Both Rana and Chris were fantastic. From the first phone call I was confident my matter was in good hands. I was not disappointed. I would highly recommend Redmans. Thank you again for all of your support and advice.

Posted 4 days ago

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Great advices and communication. Through Redmana I obtained match more than what I thought. Highly recommended

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Tom G

A good and efficient service with the required legal advice provided for a settlement agreement.

Posted 6 days ago

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The solicitor I used was Chris Hadrill, who I found extremely professional and I felt that he made me feel at ease, considering the subject matter he was assisting me with.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Chris provided excellent assistance with the negotiation of my settlement agreement. From start to finish, I was consitently updated and advised on the best course of action to take. I would highly recommend Chris and Redmans Solicitors.

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They are busy people but manage well so generally I would recommend them.

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Posted 3 weeks ago

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Really very good service, always available to answer questions, provide my with any information I needed to make informed decisions.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

Offered good support and advice

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

Chris reviewed and managed my compromise agreement swiftly, accurately, helpfully, and on budget. His input on key non-compete clauses was valuable, his communications were clear and concise, and he was always swift in responding. Highly recommended.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Gurbir C

Excellent legal advice service.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Tim

I found Redmans to be very helpful and efficient in conducting my case which was concluded in a timely and diligent manner

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

I found Redman Solicitors to be very good and worked very well to an extremely tight timescale. I would happily recommend them again especially Rana.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

I received excellent, knowledgeable and critically timely support from Chris regarding my settlement agreement, and would wholeheartedly recommend Chris in these matters.

Posted 3 weeks ago

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The solicitor communicated well with me and made sure I understood everything. He did everything needed for my settlement agreement and tried to get the wording changed in my favour too.

Posted 1 month ago

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Redmans provided excellent services

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Posted 1 month ago

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I was very happy with the level of advise I received from Caroline Lewis, and a very professional service fron Chris, The advice given really helped me and I was comfortable to sign the settlement agreement following my redundancy. I would be more than happy to recommend your services to others.

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I very much appreciated the help provided by Redmans in the settlement agreement agreed with my former employer.

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It was the first ime I used Redmans Solicitors and to be honest, thety were amazing. Rana Tandon and Chris Hadrill were out of this world. They made the process as simply and smooth as can be. Thank you so much for all your support over the last week.

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