Dubbed Spongebob Squarepants by colleagues, she gets £141,990 for suffering
24th March 2011: A Brazilian victim of racial abuse and harassment has been compensated. Dubbed Spongebob Squarepants by her colleagues because of nasal voice, the mum-of-one has been awarded £141,990 for the suffering she underwent.
The compensation was awarded after Licia Faithful was subjected to racial abuse and harassment for some 18 months by the staff at AXA PPP Healthcare.
An employment tribunal was told her colleagues even ridiculed her accent; taped her voice and played it back to her while imitating the way she spoke.
As if this was not enough, Brazilian flags were pinched off her desk. The 31-year-old was even directed not to put on her national top. She was also asked if she was on drugs as she came from South America.
A colleague even stood up on a coach and said “bloody foreigners” during one of her works outing. The victim claimed she was unable to do basic household chores as a result of the abuse.
After hearing her claims, the Ashford tribunal ruled her bosses and colleagues were responsible for the most serious case of discrimination.
Judge Sage ruled there was substantial evidence employees were engaged in bullying; and AXA staff had altered documents and tried to change their evidence.
AXA, on the other hand, said they were disappointed with the tribunal’s decision. They had already considered areas for improvement and were work hard to create a positive, supportive workplace culture.