B&Q loses race claim
Published: 04 February, 2011
READING: A security officer, Fiaz Saddiq, won a racial discrimination ruling against B&Q after the company banned him from working in a Reading store.
The employment tribunal in Reading also agreed with his racial discrimination claim against a member of staff still employed at B&Q.
A third claim for racial discrimination against the manager Mike Mardell at the store in Reading Gate retail park, Whitley, was unsuccessful.
Saddiq works for Vision Security Group which provides security for B&Q under contract and was the store's head security officer.
In November 2008 security staff reported a B&Q employee, in collusion with a customer, allow the customer to leave the store without paying for expensive wardrobe parts. The woman employee received a written warning but then made allegations including one of sexual harassment against Saddiq.
The employment tribunal finding said there was "no evidence of Mr Saddiq behaving unreasonably towards her by following her round the store, no evidence that he had made inappropriate comments to her of a sexual nature, no evidence of his communicating information of her disciplinary letter (to a third party) and no evidence of him following her home".
The tribunal was told of a further incident involving the woman member of staff. She was suspended and the matter investigated. But the tribunal noted "with surprise that an employer the size of B&Q did not appoint an investigating manager with no prior knowledge of either of the protagonists in this saga".
It said the manager in question had accepted his investigation was flawed and there had been no attempt to contact the customer who had witnessed the incident.
The tribunal found there was "no evidence of Mr Saddiq lying" but that "the only person who has previously shown to have misled" was the woman who made the racist remark who remains employed at the store.
B&Q has paid an undisclosed sum to Mr Saddiq.
B&Q declined to comment in the case saying "this is an ongoing legal case".