Rail worker loses racial discrimination claim over ‘repeated’ breaks

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Rail worker loses racial discrimination claim over ‘repeated’ breaks

Emil Androne-Alexandru had alleged a pattern of racist treatment from management after being challenged over his breaks

Train (Photo by Vitor Pinto on Unsplash)
Train (Photo by Vitor Pinto on Unsplash)

A Jewish man who had alleged his managers at Paddington station were antisemitic has lost his racial discrimination claim.

Emil Androne-Alexandru, a gateline assistant with Great Western Railway, had taken his bosses to tribunal alleging racial discrimination, race-related harassment and victiminsation.

Mr Androne-Alexandru, who has Romanian-Jewish ethnicity, had complained that he was subjected to a “pattern of hostile and racist treatment” compared to colleagues after being challenged on taking breaks.

However, a ruling published last week found that his managers did not know he was Jewish and that he had “repeatedly” gone AWOL at busy times.

A panel ruled: “The claimant was repeatedly absent without authority from the gateline for extended periods during peak times.

“These were not short breaks and the claimant had not gone through his managers before he left the gateline as he knew he was required to do.”

Mr Androne-Alexandru, who has been with the company since 2012, lodged a formal complaint in September 2018 alleging race discrimination and harassment, and went off sick with stress.

While his grievance was investigated, he was redeployed to work at Maidenhead station from March 12, 2019.

“This was [a] welfare-based decision and not one taken because the claimant had complained about race discrimination or one that was materially influenced by his complaints of workplace malpractices,” found the panel.

However, a complaint of victimisation was partially upheld, as the rail worker was kept at Maidenhead longer than he should have been.

The ruling, published on March 18, found there was a “lack of cogent explanation” for this.

A claim of ‘whistleblowing’ was also rejected. A remedy hearing could now take place unless both parties seek an agreement between themselves on a remedy.

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