A former IT manager at King’s College NHS Trust has been awarded a £1million pay-out after an employment tribunal found the Trust guilty of racial discrimination and unfair dismissal.
Richard Hastings had been accused of assault in an incident involving a delivery driver and a contractor and was dismissed for gross misconduct in October 2015, despite an exemplary work record.
Mr Hastings tried to take a note of the van’s registration number and defend himself after the tribunal was told the delivery driver racially abused him in the hospital’s car-park.
The tribunal heard that the Trust’s investigation consistently painted Mr Hastings as the aggressor while the contractors were seen as victims.
A failure to investigate the racial abuse of the IT manager – who is of Caribbean descent – and the difference between his treatment and the contractors’ led the tribunal to find the Trust had racially discriminated against him.
The Trust has since apologised for the way Mr Hastings was treated, who had been an employee since 1996.
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Louise Brown, of the employment law firm Excello Law which represented Mr Hastings, said: “Richard was the victim of an institution whose desire for an easy solution resulted in a total disregard for the wellbeing of an employee of nearly 20 years.
“The Tribunal found that the Trust’s initial investigation into Mr Hastings’ suspension was ‘fundamentally flawed’ and served only to support the organisation’s bias towards our client.”
The “substantial damages” reflected the “significant” loss of Mr Hasting’s pension following the dismissal, Ms Brown added.
A Trust spokesperson said it had apologised for how it had handled the disciplinary proceedings and would like to extend the apology again.
The spokesperson said: “The Trust has apologised to Mr Hastings and we would like to extend that apology once again.
“King’s is proud to be a major multicultural employer serving one of the most diverse communities in the UK and has implemented a number of changes to improve the support given to its staff.”
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