Race Harassment Solicitors - Employment Compensation Claims


Race harassment is defined as “any type of unwanted behaviour linked to race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origins that may range from mildly offensive comments to serious physical assault.” It is important to note that prejudice alone is not grounds for a solicitors racial harassment discrimination claim.

The term racial harassment describes racially motivated aggression. The legal definition can be found in the Race Relations Act 1976 which refers to hostile or offensive behaviour which is at least partially motivated by racial factors. Actions of racial harassment include; physical attacks, insults, racist jokes, name-calling, bullying, racist graffiti and verbal threats and abuse. It is illegal for a person to be singled out because of race, colour, citizenship or ethnic origin. Both perpetrators and employers can be prosecuted for either instigating or for not taking action to prevent this behaviour. The fact that a person is racially prejudiced is not enough to support a claim of race harassment. The claim must be based on specific illegal actions.

Race harassment can be both physical and verbal. Often a race harassment solicitors case is made in the Employment Tribunal based on a single physical assault or damage done to the victim's personal property. Bullying, which is less physical in nature, can also qualify as race harassment. In instances of bullying, a series of incidents, while small on their own, continue occurring over a period of time to amount to a good legal case for compensation.

Our race harassment solicitors deal with compensation claims on behalf of employees. They are experts in their field and where possible they negotiate settlement failing which they will make application to an Employment Tribunal to resolve any dispute. Racial harassment is any type of unwanted behaviour linked to race, colour, nationality or ethnic or national origins that may range from mildly offensive comments to serious physical assault. The fact that someone is prejudiced is not sufficient as in this context it is actions that count.

Race harassment solicitors

With such a broad definition, it is critical that you retain the counsel of an experienced race harassment solicitor with specialised knowledge of this complex area of employment law. Contact us today to speak with one of our expert employment law solicitors. One of our racial harassment solicitors will review the details of your potential claim and provide you with an estimate of the amount of compensation you could receive. If you choose to retain our solicitors services, we will work to either negotiate a settlement with your employer or make an application to the Employment Tribunal on your behalf.

Racial harassment legislation

No specific legislation exists to completely cover all aspects of racial harassment, but the most widely referenced statutes are :-

  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • Race Relations Act 1976
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • Protection from Harassment Act 1996
  • Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994

Difference between harassment and workplace bullying

There is usually an overlying physical aspect to race harassment, though verbal incidents also qualify. In racial harassment cases, these incidents are usually a one-time occurrence. Bullying, on the other hand, refers to a series of individual, smaller incidents occurring over a period of time. Workplace bullying does not usually involve physical or property damage.

Employer responsibility

Employers are held responsible for compensating employees who are found to be victims of racial harassment in any form. An employer may even be liable if the discriminatory behaviour happened somewhere other than the workplace (i.e. at a pub after work) unless it can be determined that the employer has exhausted all reasonable means to prevent or stop the behaviour.

Employment Tribunal

In order to support a solicitors claim before the Employment Tribunal for race harassment, you should :-

Keep detailed records of the incident or incidents, including the time, date and location of any occurrences. Also record a full account of the incident and a list of all parties involved, including witnesses.

Disclose the incident to your immediate superior as soon as it occurs, and if the matter remains unresolved, submit a formal complaint to the line manager and/or the boss. The complaint should contain as much detail as possible.

If the matter still remains unresolved, seek legal counsel from a solicitor in regards to applying to the Employment Tribunal for compensation and to resolve the situation if the individual wants to retain their employment.

Minority Ethnic Groups

People from minority ethnic groups are the most common targets or racial harassment and UK law offers protection to all people of all races. Cases have been brought to the Employment Tribunal where the victim was from the same ethnic group as the persecutor in which case the claim was viable because the perpetrator believed the victim to be from a different group whereupon the victim’s actual race became secondary to the motivation factor and the case was classified as racial harassment.


There is no specific legislation that a solicitor can use that fully covers racial harassment however the principal relevant statutes are as follows :-

  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • Race Relations Act 1976
  • Disability Discrimination Act 1995
  • Protection from Harassment Act 1996
  • Criminal Justice & Public Order Act 1994

Qualifying Single Incident

Racial harassment tends to have a strong physical component (though a qualifying verbal incident is sufficient) often involving just a single serious incident whereas bullying usually occurs as a result of a large number of incidents (usually individually relatively trivial) over a long period of time. Bullying tends to involve much less physical intrusion and rarely extends to damage to personal possessions or to work that has been carried out.

Employers Responsibility

The party responsible for paying compensation as a result of racial harassment at work is the employer who may also be responsible if the behaviour occurred outside the work environment and outside working hours if it occurred at a time and place that had a connection to work. For example at a Christmas party or if colleagues go for a drink in a pub after work it may well be considered as an extension to the workplace by the Employment Tribunal. The only way that an employer may possibly escape liability in these cases is if they can show the race harassment solicitor and the tribunal that they have taken all reasonable steps to prevent it from occurring.

Employment Tribunal Evidence

There are certain important steps that you should take if you believe that you are the victim of racial harassment. These actions will provide support for your case when you make an application for compensation to the Employment Tribunal.

  • Make careful notes of all the details of the incident. Include the date, time and location of the incident as well as the name of the harasser(s). You should also record the names of any people who may have seen or heard the incident.
  • Immediately report the incident to your superior. If the incident is not promptly resolved, make a formal complaint to the appropriate manager. Make the complaint as detailed as possible and include all of the information outlined above.
  • If the matter remains unresolved after you've filed the formal complaint, seek the advice of a racial harassment solicitor. The solicitor can discuss with you the possibility of making an application to the Employment Tribunal to seek compensation. Should you choose to stay at your current place of employment, the tribunal can also see to it that the harassment is stopped.

Racial Victimisation

Racial victimisation is one of four basic types of race discrimination. Racial victimisation occurs when an employee is discriminated against for making or participating in a legal claim for racial discrimination. Employees cannot be dismissed or treated unfairly because they make a claim under the Race Relations Act 1996. Victimisation also includes unfavourable treatment based on an employee giving evidence or providing information in a legal case. The employee does not even have to go so far as to start a claim in the Employment Tribunal. Being subjected to detrimental treatment for merely making a complaint to a superior is also racial victimisation.

Claiming Compensation

Employees subjected to racial victimisation can make a claim to the Employment Tribunal. There is no statutory limit on the amount of compensation that can be awarded in these cases. Compensation awarded for injury to feelings can be substantial. It is crucial that you seek the advice of a racial victimisation solicitor. It should be noted that an Employment Tribunal can reduce the amount of compensation awarded if the employee failed to follow the proper grievance procedures.

Under the Race Relations Act you have only three months from the date of the act of discrimination to make your claim. A solicitor can advise you of the time limit in more complicated situations, such as when the discrimination has occurred over an extended period of time. Much is at stake and you do not want to lose your ability to enforce your rights.