ET Hub advised on and provided end-to-end services on the Nyeko v AIG case securing a successful win for the Claimant on multiple claims.

The case has been reported on widely including by The Times and the Daily Mail

A black financial worker was victimised by bosses at the London office of a global insurance company after being told unconscious bias and discrimination did not exist, a tribunal has ruled. The claimant told senior managers that she was the victim of biased behaviour which triggered the sham dismissal process.

The tribunal has backed her claim for victimisation. At the hearing Nyeko said that she had told Brenda Monaghan, a senior manager at AIG, that she was being unfairly treated because of her race. Nyeko also suggested that her colleagues needed training to identify prejudices.

The tribunal was told that the senior executive completely dismissed Nyeko’s comments regarding bias.

In evidence Nyeko said that Monaghan had “shut down” the discussion and “effectively told her race discrimination doesn’t exist” on her team. The manager was said to have added that the team was diverse as it included “a number of women” and “one Indian”.

The tribunal described Frances Torsney as negative referring to her email when Frances wrote "I can already pre-empt the unfair noice we may get around that". Frances Torsney refused to give any evidence in court. The tribunal commented on Frances Torsney's use of the words "unfair noise", suggesting that Frances Torsney had a negative view of the Claimant's protected act.

The Tribunal had little difficulty in finding that Ms Torsney and Ms Monaghan were antagonistic and aggressive towards the Claimant. They had already decided, before meeting the Claimant to ask for her explanation, that they would conduct a formal disciplinary investigation.

Unconscious bias is defined as a social stereotype that individuals unwittingly form about certain groups of people.

The tribunal was told that Nyeko joined AIG Asset Management Europe in London in 2018 after leaving university.

In its ruling the tribunal said that Monaghan had asked Nyeko for examples of who had been unconsciously biased against her and whether she thought that the manager had herself been unconsciously biased. After that meeting Monaghan emailed Nyeko, saying: “The team is well diversified with a number of women — arguably more than most real estate teams. I have not experienced/seen any bias on the team which has many cultural backgrounds including one Indian.”

In response to Nyeko revealing that she cared for her younger brother, the manager was said to have been “dismissive” and to have told her “get up earlier”.

The tribunal concluded that Nyeko was victimised when she complained of unconscious bias as both managers adopted a “continuing negative attitude” towards her.

It found that Monaghan had effectively told a junior black employee that race discrimination did not exist on the team and that “dismissing a junior employee’s concerns in this way, without any undertaking to reflect or discuss the matter again, both put down and shut down” Nyeko.

Nyeko will be awarded compensation for victimisation at a later date. She will also receive compensation relating to a successful claim for unlawful deduction of wages.

The above content is paraphrased from The Times. See the article linked below for further information.

Source: The Times

Tags: The Times,  AIG, Daily Mail, Financial, Industry, Discrimination, Harassment, Case, Claim, Lawsuit, Client, Employment Tribunal Decisions, AIG; Brenda Monaghan; Frances Torsney Race Discrimination

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