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Importance of Training - September

An electrical engineering firm in Essex has been ordered to pay almost £34,000 in compensation and to ensure that all its employees undergo diversity training after a worker won her claim for race discrimination.

A mixed-race technician, was racially taunted and bullied by co-workers for eight years.

The tribunal heard how she received racial abuse from other employees at the firm. She was the only member of staff from an ethnic minority and was labelled a "token black" after her picture appeared in the company brochure.

Literature from the British National Party was placed at her workstation and co-workers openly discussed the party´s extreme nationalist policies in her presence. The company was ordered to pay an extra £5000 penalty after claiming Taylor had tried to make herself look "more black" for the tribunal.

The company, must now work with the Commission for Racial Equality and ensure that all its employees undergo diversity training and that managers learn how to handle discrimination complaints. The Claimant will not return to work until the training is completed and, if it does not go ahead, she will receive further damages.

Alan Ritchie, general secretary of Ucatt, which supported her claim, said: "This shocking case underlines that racism still exists in the workplace."