In a recent WRC matter, an adjudication officer dismissed a claim brought by a Polish employee that alleged she had been discriminated against on the grounds of race. The Complainant in this case was told she had to speak English when working alongside colleagues who did not speak Polish.
The Respondent, a medical devices company, employed 838 people from 14 countries, 10 of which did not have English as their first language. The Complainant’s supervisor asked the Complainant and a fellow Polish colleague to speak in English while working on the factory line. The Complainant subsequently brought a discrimination claim to the WRC. The Complainant alleged that she was upset and intimidated by her supervisor’s instruction. The Complainant disputed the employer’s argument that a business case existed for ensuring that one official language was used in the business.
The WRC found in favour of the employer based on evidence that they had provided diversity workshops, and had acted in good faith by asking the Complainant to speak English so as not to exclude fellow workers.
A copy of the decision can be found here.