“Unreliable” Agency Worker’s claims of racial harassment dismissed in full

The Employment Tribunal sitting at Huntingdon has handed down judgment in Davis-Bol v Brook Street (UK) Ltd and The Secretary of State for Justice a case involving numerous allegations that staff at a Magistrates’ Court had racially harassed a co-worker. The Claimant worked as an admin worker within an enforcement team and was placed there by an agency, Brook Street. She claimed that, from the outset of her engagement, she suffered a long running campaign of bullying and harassment from colleagues which involved the persistent use of very racially offensive language. She further claimed that when she complained of such matters, she was unfairly dismissed by Brook Street on the basis of having made a protected disclosure.

In a reserved judgment after a seven-day final hearing, the Tribunal dismissed her claims in full against both Respondents, having roundly rejected her factual allegations. The Tribunal commented that the Claimant’s evidence was “markedly unreliable, far beyond the situation where the passage of time has affected memory on small points of detail”. She had given “conflicting accounts throughout her evidence” and her account was even contradicted by the contents of a transcribed discussion that the Claimant had herself covertly recorded without her employee’s knowledge. The Tribunal was highly critical of the Claimant’s presentation under cross-examination and further commented that it was “not confident that she has taken the dictates of her oath seriously”. Her complaints had no reasonable prospects of success. The Tribunal further found that the Claimant’s claims were out of time as against the Secretary of State for Justice and that it was not just and equitable to extend time.

Tom Kirk represented the successful Second Respondent, the Secretary of State for Justice, instructed by the Government Legal Department.

17th January 2018