Employee unfairly dismissed for calling manager a ‘racist bitch’

by HRD09 Jan 2018
An employee who was dismissed after calling his manager a ‘racist bitch’ has been awarded almost $4000 by the Fair Work Commission.

The worker filed an application for unfair dismissal after being terminated from the QBar in Darwin in March 2017.

He claimed his manager (who has an Estonian background) was employing her friends who came from the same cultural group.

The employee said these staff often spoke in Estonian among themselves, and he felt he was a victim of "cultural exclusion".

He wrote in an email to the manager and the cafe's owner in October 2016 that “it is very noticeable that the Estonian group of staff are favoured over everybody else and this is also not fair for the other staff members".

"…this is not a personal attack on you (the manager) by any means, I'm just passing on comments that have been raised to my attention for some time now."

Moreover, another incident occured in February 2017 when the manager and some Estonian staff were leaving work.

The employee alleged the manager said goodbye to everyone in Estonian, but when she walked past the employee and his colleague she did not reply when the employee said “see ya”.

The employee then said to his colleague, "she can be a racist bitch".

The comment was overheard by another worker, who told the manager and the owner.

The employee told the FWC that "everyone swears" in the cafe and that he should not be labelled the "nasty one".

The worker was terminated with the employer citing a reduction in the hours available and his unwillingness to reconcile with the manager.

Fair Work Commissioner Michelle Bissett said calling the manager a 'racist bitch' and discussing workplace issues with customers “can at best be described as inappropriate and unprofessional” which “warranted some reproach and warning”.

However, Bissett was “not convinced that they warranted dismissal”.

The employer was ordered to pay the worker $3898 plus superannuation. The employee was not seeking reinstatement.

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