LONDON – An engineer who helped develop Sir James Dyson’s electric car has won a religious discrimination and unfair dismissal claim against the company after her Sikh manager told her ‘I don’t like Muslims’.
According to Daily Mail, Zeinab Alipourbabaie, 39, told an employment tribunal that senior technical project manager Kamaljit Chana also said: ‘Muslims are violent’ and ‘Pakistani men are grooming our girls.’
Miss Alipourbabaie worked at Dydon in Wiltshire for four years but resigned in 2018 after months of harassment and discrimination by Chana.
Chana, who is Sikh and also a Conservative councillor in Harrow, northwest London, denied making the comments but a tribunal found Miss Aliporbabaie’s account of the one-to-one meeting ‘compelling and persuasive’.
The judgment of the Tribunal stated: ‘The Claimant’s case is that in the course of the conversation he asked where she was from and that she told him that she was from Iran.
‘He asked if she was a Muslim and she replied that she came from a Muslim family… he said ‘that he did not like Muslims’.
‘He said they are violent, talked about terrorist attacks, and repeated that he did not like Muslims and they are violent.
‘Mr Chana talked about 9/11 and said his family did not take flights any more because they were scared.….He went on to say Pakistani men are grooming our girls.’
‘She goes on to say that she then left the meeting as she felt uncomfortable and shocked.’
The court also heard Chana excluded Ms Alipourbabaei from meetings and emails and advised against promoting her.
The court found that Iranian national Alipourbabaie’s resignation amounted to constructive unfair dismissal.
Chana was handed a final written warning but kept his job at Dyson after an internal investigation also found he had bullied and harassed Alipourbabaie.
‘No one should have to endure the pain of harassment and discrimination that I suffered while working at Dyson as result actions of Kamaljit Chana, a man who, as the Tribunal noted, is a councillor,’ said Alipourbabaie.
‘As such he has a public duty not to hold discriminatory views but should set an example being fair minded and tolerant of all religions.’
Dyson told the Times: ‘It said: ‘These allegations were investigated fully and disciplinary action was taken against Kamaljit Chana who was found to have acted inappropriately.
‘We have since launched mandatory ‘respect’ training for all our people.’
The 2.6 tonne-vehicle featured an aluminium body, quiet-running tyres and quick-charging battery cells that would have provided enough power to drive 600 miles on a single charge.