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Everyone’s a winner

The Times reports,

A civil servant who was branded a racist for claiming that it always rained in Wales has been awarded more than £240,000 at an employment tribunal.

Anne Giwa-Amu won her race and age discrimination case after being mocked for complaining about the cold, wet weather, which a colleague referred to as her regular “weather reports”, and accused of stealing ice cream.

Reading the Times account, it does seem that Ms Giwa-Amu was bullied by her colleagues:

The tribunal was told that Ms Giwa-Amu felt Ms [Daisy] Cartwright was trivialising discrimination by calling her racist for moaning about the weather.

In front of colleagues, Ms Cartwright also repeatedly accused Ms Giwa-Amu of stealing ice cream. The tribunal found that while this may have started as a joke, Ms Cartwright carried on bullying Ms Giwa-Amu after others asked her to stop.

Ms Cartwright also sprayed deodorant near Ms Giwa-Amu, knowing that she hated it, and span around on a chair while sitting next to her to try to make her feel sick.

Another co-worker, Robert Lewis, “humiliated” Ms Giwa-Amu, the tribunal was told, when he accidentally touched her bottom. He said, in front of a large group: “I touched [Anne]’s bum. I touched her bum.” Ms Giwa-Amu said that the experience was horrible and that she felt Mr Lewis was laughing about how unpleasant he found it to have touched her.

The full Times story is behind a paywall, but this report in Personnel Today tells the same story.

But fear not, it all worked out OK for everyone in the end.

Mr Lewis is still an administrative officer at the Caerphilly office. Ms Cartwright was promoted to a job in another part of the civil service.

As for Ms Giwa-Amu, Personnel Today says she joined the Department of Work and Pensions in February 2017. The Times says she went on sick leave in March 2017 and never returned to work. At an Administrative Officer’s salary it would have taken around ten years to earn the quarter of a million pounds she was awarded.

So, everyone wins. Except for one group of people who are financially involved but whose interests can safely be ignored.

20 comments to Everyone’s a winner

  • Mr Ed

    Here is the judgment on liability.

    Here is the judgment awarding compensation, once it was calculated.

    This remedy was then corrected.

    Readers may note that the Tribunal made a number of ‘Recommendations’ to reduce the injured feelings of the former employee:

    Conclusions
    Recommendations
    81.The tribunal finds that the following recommendations would obviate or reduce the adverse effects of the discrimination on the Claimant:
    81.1.On or before 9th March 2020, the Respondent should write to any department / debt agency / external party it has ever instructed to pursue debts against the Claimant, confirming that any outstanding debt has been satisfied and that no further action is to be taken. Copies of this correspondence should be sent to the Claimant by 9th March 2020.
    – 18 –
    81.2.On or before 23rd March 2020, the Respondent should change the Claimant’s reason for leaving on its internal system to resignation. This reason will be given if any external requests are made. The Respondent will provide a standard reference, with dates of employment, upon request from any prospective employer.
    81.3.On or before 23rd March 2020, the Respondent will provide the Claimant with a letter of apology in the terms set out in the Annex to the Respondent’s Closing Submissions, which the Claimant can show to any prospective employer if they query the circumstances of her departure.
    81.4.On or before 25th May 2020, Peter Schofield (Permanent Secretary) and Debbie Alder (Director General of HR) or equivalent, should read the Liability and Remedy Judgments in this case and arrange a meeting with the Claimant (if she wishes to attend such a meeting) to:
    81.4.1. identify the failings in policies and procedures;
    81.4.2. discuss the lessons that can be learnt from the Claimant’s
    experience as recorded in these Judgments; and
    81.4.3. provide the Claimant with a written apology having reflected
    upon the judgments.
    81.5.On or before 25th May 2020, the Respondent should approach the Equality and Human Rights Commission and seek their assistance in reviewing the Respondent’s Equality Act 2010 and diversity awareness training, with a view to implementing effective training throughout the Respondent’s organisation on or before 25th May 2021.
    81.6.On or before 25th May 2021, the Respondent should write to the Employment Tribunal confirming that each of these recommendations has been complied with, within the specified time scale.
    82.The tribunal considers it will reduce the Claimant’s hurt feelings if those at the very top of the DWP consider the judgment and look at lessons to be learnt and involve the Claimant in this process. The Claimant is clearly upset that the very limited online equality training that was undertaken by the trainees was not fit for purpose, as demonstrated by Ms Cartwright’s actions following this training. Even Ms Thomas, who considered the Claimant’s grievance appeal, appeared to imply that discrimination related to age was part of human nature and should just be tolerated. The tribunal considers it will reduce the Claimant’s hurt feelings to know that the Respondent is seeking advice from EHRC, to ensure the Respondent’s employees receive effective training, to better understand diversity and discrimination and to reconsider their views.
    83.The tribunal has declined to make a recommendation requiring the respondent to commence disciplinary investigations; this is a matter that ought to be left for the Respondent to consider.
    Case No: 1600465/2017
    – 19 –
    Case No: 1600465/2017
    84.The tribunal has declined to make a recommendation requiring the respondent to reinstate the Claimant, to enable her to resign. This would put both the Claimant and Respondent in an impossible position, if a future employer discovered the Claimant’s true length of service.

    The reality of the situation was that the former employee was dismissed:

    34. By letter of 4th October 2017 Linda Clarke informed the Claimant she was dismissed as she had failed to maintain an acceptable level of attendance / had been unable to return to work within a reasonable timescale. The Claimant did not appeal the decision to dismiss her.

    Yet a court can rewrite reality to make it appear that the former employee was dismissed, and have others misled as to the reality of the situation.

  • MadRocketSci

    Is there something to all this chemicals in the water paranoia? Is everyone two years old now?

    I’m beginning to wonder if there’s something horribly wrong that’s somehow degrading our intelligence. (Not precisely related to any of this, but … ) I’ve been reading a lot of old books from the early 20th century: There does seem to be some loss of linguistic complexity in modern work in comparison. #include ANSI_standard_conservative_weltschmerz.h

  • bobby b

    “So, everyone wins. Except for one group of people who are financially involved but whose interests can safely be ignored.”

    You mean the voters who chose to institute such a regime?

    They won, too. They got what they asked for. Good and hard, as I think the phrase goes.

    I’ll give a pass to those who voted the other way and who consistently opposed such thinking and who worked to bring others over to their way of thinking, but that’s becoming a small group, I think. We get the government we deserve.

  • XC

    I once had three older boys jump me on the playground and beat me until I couldn’t stand up. I walked across the edge of “their” basketball court. Everyday for six months after that they’d walk up behind me in the hall and hit me in the head with open hands. I changed schools the next year when we moved which is why it stopped.

    That is bullying. Spinning on a chair and being spiteful is not bullying.

    Besides, every one steals ice cream. Only the lactose intolerant pay a penalty.

    -XC

  • bob sykes

    You live in a Stalinist police state. Cops in parts of the UK are searching through shopping carts looking for nonessential goods, Other cops are setting up road blocks to keep Brits imprisoned in their homes. What the f*ck is wrong with you? Are you (all Brits) farm animals? I am ashamed of my English ancestry.

    Please don’t emigrate to the USA. You are not worthy.

    If you start killing some of the monsters, I will reconsider.

  • Mr Ecks

    Kneeled on anybody’s neck for 20 minutes lately Bobby?

  • Paul Marks

    The TAXPAYERS lose – just as the shareholders lose in a business, due to these insane laws.

    These employees behaved as if they were Primary School children – they should have been told to GROW UP.

    But instead of individuals being punished for bad behaviour – they get promoted. Ad the victim does not get compensation from the bullied, the victim gets money from the TAXPAYERS.

    No bobby b – the voters did not ask for this, bad policy (and bad laws) only very rarely come from “below”, nearly always such bad policy and bad laws come from ABOVE – from the “intellectuals” and “experts”.

    I remember Nullius saying that high spending local Conservative Party councils were just doing what the voters asked them to do – only someone who has never been elected to a such a body could think that “the voters” decide how much is spent or what it is spent on. Conservative VOTERS are most certainly NOT in support of wild spending.

  • Paul Marks

    As for H.L. Mencken – a good and wise man in many ways, but with terrible blind spots (as we all have).

    He spent his life mocking people who took religion seriously – preferring people who just carried out the rituals, he lived to see just what such “Sunday Morning Christians” tolerated (indeed actively took part in) in National Socialist Germany – Dietrich Bonhoeffer pointed out repeatedly in the early 20th century that the Church in Germany (and elsewhere) was undermining true faith (true belief) – replacing it with hollow philosophy, but Modernists such as Mr Mencken refused to listen. Refused to see that the much mocked “reactionary” Christians were the backbone against tyranny in the United States itself – opposing such things as the Eugenics laws.

    And Mr Mencken repeatedly mocked democracy – failing to see that the problem was not that the ordinary people had too much power, but that they had too little.

    Mr Mencken was the opposite of a socialist – but he backed many socialist writers in the 1920s because they mocked the things he mocked (traditional religion, traditional families, small town values……) he lived to see that this was a mistake.

    “Under God The People Rule” is the State motto of South Dakota – for someone like Mr Mencken (and for the socialists – although they PRETEND they want the people to rule) this summed up everything he thought absurd.

    No doubt it has its absurd side – ordinary people can be very silly, we can ALL be very silly.

    But “Under God The People Rule” is a lot better than the alternative – the alternative being where THE STATE takes the place of a personal God (of the moral conscience of people who believe that they will have to account for their lives) and the “experts” control the State.

  • Bell Curve

    Cops in parts of the UK are searching through shopping carts looking for nonessential goods

    Not true.

  • Paul Marks

    As for the riots (and they are riots – NOT protests).

    No someone does NOT deserve to die for passing a fake 20 Dollar note. Most likely he was a grifter (a conman), but their is no death penalty for that.

    But one does NOT burn the city over it – one takes the specific individual responsible for the death to court, and the jury decides whether that specific police officer was guilty or NOT guilty.

    There is also a problem with training – yes a choke hold is the least difficult way to hold someone, but it is very dangerous and there are other holds.

    Still hard to judge without all the details – the “Devil is in the details”.

    Before the 1870s the only “Public Prosecutions” in England and Wales were for offences specifically against the Crown (such as treason).

    Any offence against a private individual (including murder) was a PRIVATE prosecution.

    A person would say “I accuse you of murdering this person” – the judge might just throw out the accusation (on the grounds that there was no evidence), but if first the Grand Jury (not abolished here till the 1930s) thought there was a case to answer then it would go to trial before the ordinary jury.

    England and Wales were “industrial societies” long before the 1870s – and some counties still did not have a police force (as such) till the Act of 1856.

    A policeman could be the person who accused you of a crime – but (before the 1870s) it was an individual policeman (not “the force” as such).officially the Prosecuting lawyer was not a state official of any sort.

    I can remember before the “Crown Prosecution Service” existed (I think it is only a few decades old) – the county police force would go to lawyers (lawyers who specialised in working with them) and ask “do we have a good case against X for doing such and such” they took advice and then decided whether or not to prosecute.

    There was no “CPS” to make the decision – it did not use to exist.

  • Paul Marks

    In the early 19th century (when prosecutions were private) a family of a murdered woman found a way round the Double Jeopardy rule.

    A man (I think her husband) had been put on trial for her murder and found Not Guilty – but the family found a complicated Medieval way of bringing the case again.

    The man responded in kind – although Trial By Combat had been abolished for many centuries, in the specific Medieval move the family had made (which had not been done for centuries) Trial By Combat had NOT been specifically been abolished.

    So the man turned up in full armour (the ancient laws laid down what as person should wear and what weapons were to be used) – demanding that his accuser fight him. Remember this was in the 1800s – it was considered father unusual.

    The accuser declined to fight – or to appoint someone to fight on his behalf (remember the novel “Ivanhoe” where the Jewish lady is on trial for her life – and the title character of the novel steps forward as to fight for her) – so the Double Jeopardy prosecution collapsed.

    The law was tidied up. No more Double Jeopardy prosecutions – and no more recourse to demand Trial by Combat.

  • Stonyground

    There is no other way to vote Bobby. You either vote for ever more lefty crap or you don’t vote. Those are now the alternatives. At the last election I scrawled non of these across the ballot paper.

  • Brian, follower of Deornoth

    At an Administrative Officer’s salary it would have taken around ten years to earn be paid the quarter of a million pounds she was awarded.

    FTFY.

  • Mr Ecks

    Stony–the problem is that NOTA doesn’t stop anything the politipiggies have planned.

    Now we have a big opportunity in the CCPvirus fiasco. To show what shite computer models are and to thus attack the green freakshow.

    At the minute Brexit/CCPvirus are big stories. But pointing out to ord folks that electric cars means ord folk back on foot or shitty public transport needs to be pushed big style. Blojo won’t be able to afford his Green farce and massive rage will be swilling around. A great opportunity to hit back at our foes.

    In general we need to use that kind of leverage on a case-by-case practical level and let any movement–like the Yellow Jackets –emerge from those cases. Instead of trying to create a fully-formed ideological group.

    Trump is not an ideologue but he has done more than Reagan managed–tho’ still far too little.

    Big issue Libertarianism is a Bridge Too Far for most. But pointing out to the general that the state (via its green freakshow )plans to make their lives much worse is a viable strategy.

  • bobby b

    Stonyground
    May 29, 2020 at 7:58 am

    “There is no other way to vote Bobby. You either vote for ever more lefty crap or you don’t vote.”

    Ago, I worked on campaigns every so often, and I worked on two notable ones where the candidate was expected to get creamed. One won, and made a small difference in the balance of power in the state legislature. One lost, but by a much smaller margin than expected, and in scaring them he got some changes made. In both of those campaigns, I came out with the feeling of having some small (exceedingly, vanishingly small, but still extant) personal credit in the results.

    Likely out of naivete, what I pulled from my experiences is that the whole “it’s the democracy mirage, no one person can ever affect anything” complaint isn’t true. And, in combination with lots of other like-minded people, that belief gave us Brexit and Trump, and is still going strong.

    So, I disagree with you. If I believed as you do – that I hold no power over my life because of our political system – how could anything less than revolution be acceptable? Heck, I’d be burning up stores and police stations too.

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    bob sykes,

    You are kidding yourself if you think the same doesn’t happen in the US. It took me about a minute to find this:

    EEOC AWARDS $165,000 IN COMPENSATORY DAMAGES

    The EEOC recently awarded $165,000 in non-pecuniary damages for pain and suffering to an employee of the U.S. Postal Service who was subjected to a hostile work environment for over three years and then removed. Padilla v. USPS, EEOC Appeal No. 0120090062 (9/21/10). The Commission had previously found discrimination in EEOC Appeal No. 0120063761 (4/8/08) and ordered the agency to conduct a supplemental investigation on the issue of the complainant’s entitlement to compensatory damages.

    The Washington DC law firm who published that lists “Discrimination and EEOC” first in its list of “Areas of Practice” and offers a toll free number for federal employees who feel they have been discriminated against to call.

  • staghounds

    1. I wonder how many of these cases are collusive?

    2. I would be thrilled ti get that bullying for that money.

    3. Where does that tribunal live, that they think ordering the agency to change the record of what happened will hide these events? Is it 1960 in Wales?

  • Natalie Solent (Essex)

    staghounds writes, “I wonder how many of these cases are collusive?”

    I have asked myself that too. I once had sight of the personnel file of a fairly senior local government employee who had some sort of diversity adviser job. She had successfully sued the local authority for racial discrimination at least twice, while remaining in the same post. Despite this, relations between her and her colleagues and superiors seemed remarkably cordial. I wondered how she could bear to continue to work alongside the same people who she said had repeatedly subjected her to unfair treatment on account of her race.

    I’ll never know, but the simplest explanation was that it was just a way of giving her an unofficial pay rise. Why should her bosses in the LA care about being sued? They wouldn’t lose money over it, and as the case highlighted in this post shows, they were not likely to lose promotion either.

  • neonsnake

    Kneeled on anybody’s neck for 20 minutes lately Bobby?

    Obviously not, little boy. That’s obvious. Anyone who would suggest so is, well, how can I put this?

    Shouldn’t be allowed in public without their grownups? You small child.

    *grins* Every suggestion of such, puts you back into a sense of childishness and people dealing with poor children. Bell-end.

  • … how many of these cases are collusive?” … the simplest explanation was that it was just a way of giving her an unofficial pay rise … (Natalie Solent (Essex), May 29, 2020 at 5:46 pm)

    1) I’ve read of cases where it seems obvious the suposed adjudicator of the claim was getting kickbacks – for example, the sergeant (IIRC his rank) serving in Afghanistan who returned home at the end of his tour to find his modest savings had been successively looted by eleven women, each of whose claims he was the father of her child had been rubber-stamped by some civil authority who had opened his accounts and grabbed a chunk every time (without the sergeant having the least idea it was happening). That the guy who pretended to believe claimant after claimant as each appeared (over most of a year, IIRC) was paid off – whether by a share of the money or by the chance to become the father of each woman’s next child or both – seemed very obvious to me. That the eleven claimants successively appeared because word got around that this was free money for any single mother in the area also seemed obvious to me.

    2) In principle, such money-or-sex-kickback cases could be proved. It is harder if, as in Natalie’s case, the payback is political. When a ‘diversity’ official is recruited and then ‘uncovers’ prejudice in her office, she presumably advances the narrative her bosses hired her to advance, and maybe gets rid of a not-sufficiently-on-narrative colleague that her bosses are glad to get rid of. The political kickback is clear, but can one prove it in a court of law? Can one use conflict of interest legislation to force recusal? Or would time be better spent on a much more thorough clean-up of the entire racket?

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