Woman wins discrimination case after being listed as ‘paininthearse’ at work
The nickname was viewable on a shareable Microsoft Excel document (Picture: PA)
A woman has won a work discrimination case after she was listed on a spreadsheet as ‘paininthearse’.
Ubah Jama, who worked for the NHS, was labelled a ‘troublemaker’ after she complained about a colleague throwing a test tube in her direction.
The staff member, who is of Somali origin, claimed she faced two years of racial discrimination while working at Barking Havering & Redbridge University Hospital NHS Trust.
The colleague who threw the test tube was a white Canadian who lost her temper at a perceived lack of help, a tribunal was told.
Jama also made complaints when another colleague was put forward for a three-day training course, but she was overlooked for the same advancement
Her treatment from other colleagues culminated in the nickname which could be seen by various people from two hospitals via a shared Microsoft Excel document, the tribunal heard.
It labelled her ‘paininthearse.’
A colleague admitted to having been responsible for the nickname, but said the tag had automatically transferred into the document from a home computer.
She said it was a ‘personal in-joke about the performance of the computer’.
Jama told the tribunal she wanted her name removed but the request was ignored by her boss.
Her colleague admitted the joke was unprofessional during the tribunal and insisted she removed the phrase from her own documents but failed to remove them from Jama’s.
Tribunal judge David Massarella said he was ‘satisfied that the original insertion of the term Paininthearse into the documents was innocent . . . we considered that the position was different in relation to the failure to remove it from [Jama’s] documents’.
Doing so had ‘crossed the threshold into harassment’ the judge said, adding ‘it had the effect of creating an offensive, indeed humiliating, environment’ for Jama to work in.
She will now receive compensation after the tribunal ruled she had been ‘marginalised and excluded because of her race’.
The amount of damages Jama will receive will be set in a future hearing.