This week’s case roundup
Award for injury to feelings increased
Doshoki v Draeger Limited EOR 104, April 2002, EAT
Doshoki, an Iranian, was employed as a sales manager from June 1977 until
his dismissal in March 1998. He brought a race discrimination claim, arguing
that his dismissal was on racial grounds and that he had been subjected to
occasional racial comments and taunts, such as "Shut up Aytollah" and
being called an "Arab". The tribunal dismissed the claim and held
that the racial taunts did not amount to a detriment. The EAT allowed Doshoki’s
appeal in respect of that finding. A new tribunal held that the remarks
amounted to racial discrimination and awarded compensation for injury to
feelings of £750 on the basis that the remarks were not very serious. Doshoki
appealed arguing the award was so perversely low as to constitute an error of
The appeal was allowed. The EAT held £750 was a sum very close to the lowest
end of the entire scale of awards for injury to feelings and by way of
comparison, was a sum appropriate only for the very slightest physical injury
in a personal injuries claim. Moreover, the taunts were repeated from time to
time over a period of four months and were hurtful and humiliating for Doshoki.
It substituted £4,000 as an appropriate award.
Size of organisation a relevant factor
Golding v Klargester Environmental Limited  All ER (D) 38, January
Golding claimed his redundancy was unfair because there had been inadequate
consultation and no prior warning of dismissal. Klargester failed to enter a
Notice of Appearance and at the hearing applied for an extension of time to do
this. The tribunal found that agreeing to the application would cause a further
delay and as Klargester was a large organisation, any finding of unfair
dismissal and award for compensation was not likely to prove disastrous
financially. The tribunal exercised its discretion and refused Klargester’s
application, which meant it was unable to enter a defence. The tribunal then
concluded that Golding had been unfairly dismissed and awarded compensation.
Klargester appealed, arguing that when exercising its discretion the
tribunal had erred by taking into account that Klargester was a large
organisation enjoying economic success. The appeal was dismissed. The tribunal
had to take into account all relevant factors, weighing and balancing them one
against the other to reach a conclusion which was objectively justified on the
grounds of reason and justice.
It was important to consider the prejudice to both parties, and the tribunal
had been entitled to consider Klargester’s financial circumstances when
reaching its decision.