Race tribunal for pub chain

The Greengage Pub on Tollgate Lane
The Greengage Pub on Tollgate Lane
Have your say

A Greene King pub manager racially harassed her employee, who was then victimised and discriminated against because of his race, an Employment Tribunal has found.

Janet Wolszczak, who now runs The Greengage pub, in Bury St Edmunds, had a ‘habit’ of calling her employee Joel Perry ‘the Black Man’ and ‘Sooty’.

She also asked him to stand under a light when she spoke to him so that she could see him, the panel at Bristol was told.

The day after Mr Perry warned he would be making a complaint, he was suspended from the Gloucester pub for stealing drinks, a charge the tribunal found no evidence to support.

In its judgement, the panel accepted that Mr Perry was offended by the way Mrs Wolszczak had spoken to him and that by doing so she had violated his dignity and created a humiliating environment.

Mrs Wolszczak was disciplined and given a final written warning, but in its conclusions the tribunal noted the warning referred to her use of words as ‘banter’ and that no practical steps were taken to prevent a repeat of her conduct.

Mr Perry, who was first hired in September 2009, was fired in January 2010 for falsifying documents.

The tribunal found Greene King guilty of racial harassment, racial discrimination and victimisation but found it not guilty of unfair dismissal.

The pub chain has settled the case out of court for an undisclosed sum of money.

On Wednesday, Mrs Wolszczak said she was unable to comment on the case, even though she would have liked to, because of a gagging order from Greene King’s head office.

A spokeswoman for Greene King said: “We take all matters such as this extremely seriously and in no way condone any racist behaviour. This situation was dealt with through our thorough disciplinary and grievance procedure.

“As a consequence a full and comprehensive investigation, in line with our disciplinary procedures, was undertaken. Formal and serious action was taken against the manager taking into account all evidence submitted.”