Barmaid wins racist video claim

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The Independent Online
A black barmaid sacked after objecting to racist jokes in a video by the comedian Jim Davidson was awarded £1,900 compensation yesterday.

Maria Ampadu, 30, was racially discriminated against when the video was shown in the public house where she was the only black person.

A Manchester industrial tribunal, which ruled earlier that the sacking was "inexcusable", was told yesterday that Evelyn Mullane, the licensee of the Church Inn in Little Lever, Bolton, Greater Manchester, had agreed the compensation for the dismissal.

She had also agreed to give Ms Ampadu, now a student at Central Lancashire University, a reference saying that she was a good and friendly worker and "honest and trustworthy".

The earlier hearing was told that the video by the comedian featured about seven minutes of racist jokes. Ms Ampadu said that when it was played in the bar "some of the customers were too embarrassed to look at me".

In an argument with Ms Mullane she was told to "go and don't come back".

The tribunal ruled that Ms Mullane had not deliberately discriminated against Ms Ampadu but had been "insensitive" in playing the video.

It stated: "Her decision to dismiss the applicant was taken in the heat of the moment. Nevertheless, it was inexcusable for an employer to behave in such a way."

After yesterday's brief hearing Ms Ampadu said in a statement read by her solicitor, Cathy Gallagher: "I am pleased that the tribunal understood what had happened to me and that they agreed I should not have had to put up with those conditions.

"I now want to put the whole matter behind me but I hope that the decision in my case means that others will not be put through the same experience."

Ms Mullane refused to comment on the tribunal's award. She left the hearing saying only: "I am pleased it is over in time for Christmas."

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