In court, Mathan Shunmugaraja said he was called a ‘sly dog’ and was mistaken for a Muslim.
After a tribunal found that he was humiliated and discriminated against in the workplace, a former Royal Mail manager was awarded nearly £ 230,000. Mathan Shunmugaraja, who is a Hindu, was called a’ sly dog’ by a colleague and was embroiled in a dispute with another over the use of a room where he was mistaken for a Muslim. The court also learned that one of his employers tried to cut off his sick pay after Shunmugaraja took time off work for anxiety. Finally, Shunmugaraja, a math graduate, was fired. He applied unsuccessfully for hundreds of other jobs, but was unable to find employment and divided his time in the UK between sofa-surfing. The court heard that Shunmugaraja identified himself as being of British Indian descent and a Hindu, and living with his mother in a rural part of India. In August 2007, he started working for the Royal Mail in Cardiff and received £ 32,000 a year in 2017. The worker, who called Shunmugaraja a “sly dog” in June 2017, argued that the insult had no racial connotations, but the court acknowledged that in many cultures the term “dog” and the expression “sly dog” are interpreted as insults and may have racist connotations: “The court believes that it was reasonable for the plaintiff to be so offended in many cultures as the term is considered highly offensive.”
The colleague responded violently in August 2017 when he learned that Shunmugaraja was using it as a meeting space. He misunderstood the faith of Shunmugaraja and claimed he had not used the meeting’s Muslim prayer room. The court concluded that this was religious discrimination. Shunmugaraja characterized his dismissal as a “fall from grace” in January 2018. He said he found his colleagues at Royal. Royal Mail was ordered to pay £ 229,000, which includes compensation for lost and future earnings and emotional harm. A spokesperson said, “Royal Mail was ordered to pay £229,000, which includes compensation for lost and future earnings and injury to feelings.A spokesman said, ” We are now evaluating the result carefully.
Royal Mail takes its commitments to equality and diversity very seriously and is committed to creating a workplace where our colleagues feel respected and can thrive free of prejudice and abuse.