Laughing at someone when they fall over at work is not harassment, judge rules as teen loses his claim to racial and religious harassment after his boss chuckled when he slipped on oil in the kitchen
- Kesarajith Perera got a red face after falling on a piece of oil
Making fun of someone when they fall over at work isn’t harassment, a judge ruled — like a cafe worker lost a lawsuit after his boss chuckled when he slipped up.
Kesarajith Perera was redfaced after falling on a piece of oil at The George pub in Harrow, London, prompting his manager Hesham Badra to laugh out loud at his charges.
Mr Perera was later dismissed on an unrelated matter, which led him to sue Stonegate Pub Company Ltd for racial and religious harassment, citing Mr Badra’s reaction to his accident as evidence.
But labor judge David Maxwell dismissed his case, saying the “slapstick element” of someone falling over was likely to lead to laughter.
“While it may be tempting to hope that one colleague will merely respond sympathetically to another’s misfortune, general experience shows that this is not always the case,” he said.
Kesarajith Perera was redfaced after falling on a piece of oil at The George pub in Harrow, London
The tribunal, held in Watford, heard that Mr Perera started working at The George in January 2020 as a member of the kitchen team, before falling down in March.
In October, after failing to provide documentation for his proof of entitlement to work in the UK, he was fired, prompting him to sue the pub’s owners for racism.
Mr Perera suggested his boss had deliberately oiled the floor to make it slip before laughing when he succeeded.
However, his claims were rejected, with the panel ruling it was ‘ridiculous’ to think that Mr Bandara had deliberately spilled oil on the floor.
“Unfortunately, it seems to us that Mr Perera tends to jump to conclusions when faced with adversity,” the tribunal said.
“In addition, Mr. Perera’s claim was undermined by his own evidence, which amounted to the location where he fell being prone to spillage.”
The panel concluded that the laughter had nothing to do with Mr. Perera’s race or religion.
Mr Perera’s additional complaint that he had been given the ‘full-time job of cleaning toilets’ was also rejected.
Judge Maxwell added: ‘Cleaning the toilets can hardly be made into a full-time job.
“Mr. Perera’s objection was the same as before—this was an unpleasant duty which he thought he should not perform.”
Labor judge David Maxwell dismissed his case, saying the ‘slapstick element’ of someone falling over was likely to lead to laughter
Judge Maxwell dismissed his allegations of harassment, saying, “None of the treatments complained of had the prescribed purpose or effect.
“The behavior itself was, objectively speaking, nowhere near the forbidden effect, and his view of things was unreasonable.”
However, the tribunal ruled in his favor in respect of unlawful wage deductions and awarded him £1,426.11.
He was also paid £908.91 for the pub’s ‘bottomless’ paperwork after failing to receive written details of his job.