Former Leisure Centre employee makes claim after air gun put to his head at work

by Direct 2 Lawyers on August 27, 2013

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A former employee of Penarth Leisure Centre’s has submitted a claim to the Employment Tribunal after he alleged that he had been unfairly dismissed, bullied and harassed at work.

Mr Nabeel Rahman submitted claims to the Employment Tribunal for harassment, discrimination and victimization after he was dismissed from his employment with Penarth Leisure Centre last year. Two other colleagues, Mr Scott Roberts and Mr Robert Mifsud, also submitted claims for associative racial discrimination.

The three employees were suspended last year after allegations relating to fabrications of time sheets surfaced. This related to allegations of “clocking each other in” for their respective shifts – something which the company stated that it took very seriously. However, Mr Rahman alleged that he had an air gun pointed at his head by a colleague last year and that he was forced to lie down on the floor and pretend to be a hostage. Mr Rahman claimed that this was discriminatory and amounted to harassment and brought his claims. It’s not clear what factual basis the other two employees’ claims are founded upon.

Declan O’Dempsey, barrister for the Vale of Glamorgan Council, stated at the hearing that “the reason why there was no complaint [regarding the gun being pointed at his head] was that he was not bothered and he was an active and willing participant.” Mr O’Dempsey further put it to Mr Rahman that the Claimants had been suspended from work on the basis of “clocking irregularities” and that it was unlikely that the cards had been tampered with. Mr Roberts questioned the reliability of the evidence used to suspend the three employees in his witness statement, claiming that the evidence was unreliable as it was stored on the laptop of an employee whom they had previously submitted grievances about.

Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans, commented: “This appears to be a rather factually-entangled claim – the employees appear to be claiming that they were treated unfairly by their employer but there doesn’t appear to be any less favourable treatment, per se, because of Mr Rahman’s protected characteristic. The burden is on the Claimant in discrimination cases to show that in the absence of an alternative explanation they have been discriminated against – should they do this then the burden would then shift to the Respondent.”

Judgment by the Employment Tribunal is due to be given in the next week few weeks.

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