Sunday, 29 August 2021

London Nigerian Man Wins Claim Against Employer

A car salesman who follows Islam won a religious harassment claim after his boss told him he believed ‘Allah is the devil’.

Temitayo Ajala, who worked at Doves Vauxhall dealership in Southampton, said his manager was told to say sorry but did a ‘loud fart’ and ‘giggled’ during the apology.

An employment tribunal heard Mr Ajala was in the middle of a sale when his customer said she wanted to go home and pray before making her decision.

Mr Ajala went to explain to his boss, Lyndon Parker, and made a comment that there was no difference between the Christian’s God and Allah as they are the same.

Mr Parker disagreed, and claimed Mr Ajala then became ‘aggressive and confrontational’ as he repeatedly asked him to justify his belief that the Christian God is different to Allah.

The tribunal said: ‘Mr Parker says he felt cornered and threatened and that in answer to repeated questions from Mr Ajala asking him to justify his statement, he stated calmly that his faith led him to believe Allah was not god and that Allah was the devil.’

The comment, which Mr Parker did not deny making, left Mr Ajala feeling very offended. The manager was told to apologise for the comment.

But after going home feeling unwell, Mr Ajala emailed dealership manager Darren Barnaby explaining Mr Parker had joked and let out a ‘very loud fart’ as he apologised.

The tribunal in Southampton, Hampshire dismissed Mr Ajala’s claims of direct discrimination on the grounds of religion, direct discrimination on the grounds of race, and victimisation.

But it found Mr Ajala was unlawfully harassed for the ‘Allah is the devil’ comment made by Mr Parker, and he was awarded £3,000 for injury to feeling plus £520 in interest.

Employment judge Catherine Elizabeth Rayner said: ‘We find that the remark made by Mr Parker was an inherently offensive remark to make particularly to a black Muslim employee who was his junior.

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