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30 Nov 20 Back to Listing

Victoria von Wachter litigates ‘Ice-T’ employment claim concerning alleged racial discrimination

Victoria von Wachter recently litigated in a case of  alleged racial discrimination by a mixed race  employee who was sent a picture of  the rapper and actor Ice-T by a white colleague on grounds that there were strong similarities between the employee and  the film  star. The picture was of the  star holding a gun and looking very stern. The employee alleged that this  was  a  racial slur, stereotyping  all black men as gangsters although he admitted  at trial that Ice-T was not a  gangster. 

The colleague claimed that he had intended to show a similarity of appearance between Mr Chittick and  the star (this was justified – they are very similar in  appearance). The Tribunal was  asked whether this constitutes racial harassment and  was  asked to  consider this  question addressing s26(4) Equality Act 2010 requiring  the  court to take  into account  all the  circumstances of the case. The  court was asked  to  view  the alleged  harassment  through the lens  of  the Claimant calling his  colleague a ‘snake’ ‘Voldemort’ and other offensive slurs. (Taj v GBM Services Ltd). The Claimant declined any attempt by  the Respondent  to mediate the matter choosing instead to pursue an Employment Tribunal claim followed by a grievance. The court’s decision is awaited.

The Claimant recently featured in the tabloids regarding the case. Read the article here.