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Gay Black Police Officer Triumphs in Discrimination Claim

A police officer is due substantial compensation after the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) upheld a ruling that he was discriminated against, harassed and victimised in the workplace. The officer, who is of mixed race and gay, had endured repeated victimisation by colleagues on grounds of his race and sexual orientation.

Police carThe officer, who identifies himself as ‘black, had succeeded in his claim before an employment tribunal which, during a 12-day hearing, had considered more than 120 allegations of direct discrimination, harassment and victimisation and approximately 2,300 documents. The tribunal’s judgment ran to 113 pages.

The Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis appealed against that ruling on 17 grounds. It was submitted, inter alia, that the tribunal had failed to make clear findings of primary fact, had wrongly transferred the burden of proof and had failed to establish whether there was a prima facie case that the officer’s treatment was on grounds of his race or sexual orientation.

The EAT overturned one of the findings of direct discrimination, also ruling that the tribunal had had no jurisdiction to consider two other complaints which had been brought out of time, but otherwise dismissed the commissioner’s appeal.

Paying tribute to the tribunal’s painstaking analysis of the case, the EAT said that its members had clearly considered all the evidence in relation to each and every allegation with considerable care. The tribunal had followed the correct legal tests in considering the officer’s complaints and the commissioner’s primary criticism that it had failed to set out the primary facts with clarity was ‘without merit’.