Case law updates

NHS Trust guilty of race discrimination due to “fundamentally flawed” investigation

A Tribunal has judged that a former NHS trust manager was unfairly dismissed and suffered race discrimination because the investigation into the incident was “fundamentally flawed”.

Richard Hastings, an IT manager at King’s College NHS Foundation Trust, was dismissed for gross misconduct after he was accused of assault following a dispute with a van driver in his workplace car park. However, the tribunal found that investigators made up their minds about his guilt. “He was assumed to be the aggressor. The white witnesses were accepted to be the victims”. As a result they only pursued evidence that would support this view, and opportunities to collect further evidence to support his claims of innocence were repeatedly missed. Furthermore the investigation report was “worded in a manner that called into question the veracity of [Hasting’s] evidence”.

Hastings – who was of African Caribbean origin – was therefore, in the Tribunal’s view treated less favourably than a white counterpart would have been. The Tribunal found the Trust guilty of unfair dismissal and racial discrimination.