A tribunal has ruled against a National Gallery employee who sued her bosses for racism over an Arabic badge.
An employment tribunal has dismissed racial discrimination accusations made by a London National Gallery employee who was ordered to wear a tag to indicate visitors she could speak Arabic.
In 2018, Dana El Farra started working for Securitas as a Visitor Engagement Assistant (VEA), delivering visitor engagement services to London institutions such as the National Gallery and Tate Modern. Ms El Farra attempted to sue her bosses at Securitas after being asked if she could wear the Kuwaiti flag on her work badge. She worked largely in a customer-facing capacity, offering information, selling and scanning tickets, and responding to concerns.
Ms El Farra, who is British with British parents, took offense to the suggestion and “made it clear” that she would oppose to “wearing any flag other than a British one” during the political correctness debate.
The request for the emblem to be shown in order to “identify your mother language with the proper flag” was submitted by email, but the tribunal heard that it was not an obligatory procedure.
The incident in question occurred when an Italian manager, who could not understand English, emailed Ms El Farra and another Arabic-speaking Algerian colleague named Faiza and asked, “What is your original country?”
However, the tribunal heard that Ms El Farra believed the request was “racially motivated” because the email was only sent to her and Faiza, which we do not accept.
The manager inquired since she was in charge of producing a spreadsheet of the VEAs’ languages.
She wanted to double-check Ms El Farra’s claim that she was born in Kuwait and knew Arabic. Similarly, she was aware that Faiza was “Algerian.”
The panel determined that this was merely “a crude manner” of asking if she would be happy to wear a country’s insignia.
Ms El Farra told the tribunal that she thought she was treated “less favorably than those not of Arab origin” in her requests for “flexible working,” in addition to interpreting the request as “racially motivated.”
Ms El Farra, who claims to be of Arab ancestry, described her coworkers’ comments as “racist micro-aggressions.”
Ms El Farra stated her intention to take her claim to an employment tribunal after resigning from the role in November 2019.
Her case, however, was dismissed by the London Central Tribunal, which determined that the request was “Brinkwire Summary News.”