‘Secondhand car salesman’ used as insult

legal_updates

The Claimant found it offensive being called ‘jellied eel salesman’ and ‘secondhand car salesman’.

Author: Nona Bowkis
Published:
Reading time: 2 minutes

This article is 4 years old.

Read our disclaimer keyboard_arrow_down

This website content is intended as a general guide to law as it applies to the motor trade. Lawgistics has taken every effort to ensure that the contents are as accurate and up to date as at the date of first publication.

The laws and opinions expressed within this website may be varied as the law develops. As such we cannot accept liability for or the consequence of, any change of law, or official guidelines since publication or any misuse of the information provided.

The opinions in this website are based upon the experience of the authors and it must be recognised that only the courts and recognised tribunals can interpret the law with authority.

Examples given within the website are based on the experience of the authors and centre upon issues that commonly give rise to disputes. Each situation in practice will be different and may comprise several points commented upon.

If you have any doubt about the correct legal position you should seek further legal advice from Lawgistics or a suitably qualified solicitor. We cannot accept liability for your failure to take professional advice where it should reasonably be sought by a prudent person.

All characters are fictitious and should not be taken as referring to any person living or dead.

Use of this website shall be considered acceptance of the terms of the disclaimer presented above.

An interesting decision has come out of the Employment Appeal Tribunal in regard to workplace banter.

In this case Evans, a sales representative, put in a claim against his employer Xactly Corporation Limited for discrimination on the grounds of disability, victimisation and harassment after he was dismissed for poor performance. He had tried to negotiate a £78,000 settlement.

His disability was Type 1 diabetes and the victimisation and harassment claims were centered around that and his links to the traveller community.

The claimant submitted that he was called various derogatory and demeaning names by his colleagues and his manager. The Claimant found it offensive being called ‘jellied eel salesman’ and ‘secondhand car salesman’. He was also repeatedly called ‘a salad dodger’, ‘fat yoda’ and was compared to Gimli (a dwarf from Lord of the Rings), and on one occasion his colleague referred to him as ‘fat ginger pikey’.

However, the Tribunal, and the subsequent Appeal Tribunal, found that this was all given out in the context of office banter. Mr Evans had apparently referred to his Line Manager as a “fat paddy” on a regular basis and the C word was often bandied about.  

This may be a welcome judgment for those who feel we have gone too PC but it does not give us a green light to indiscriminately insult and abuse our colleagues. As with all judgments whether employment related or otherwise, outcomes will be fact dependent and no two cases will be the same. The devil is very often in the detail and so if you have any concerns about any potential Tribunal or court cases, do speak to one of our experts and avoid the oft quoted, ‘mate down the pub’.

Nona Bowkis

Legal Advisor

Read more by this author

Getting in touch

You can contact us via the form or you can call us on 01480 455500.