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Race discrimination claim brought over a potted plant

Race discrimination claim brought over a potted plant

A council worker sued his employer over the placement of a potted plant which he considered to be racially motivated. Benyam Kenbata, 34, alleged he was deliberately segregated when a colleague placed the plant on her desk opposite him.

Mr Kenbata complained that the plant “restricted the ease with which he could hold discussions with colleagues” and he felt the plant was placed on the desk because of his race.

After 29 allegations of direct discrimination, racial harassment and victimisation were brought by Mr Kenbata in London Central Employment Tribunal, the Tribunal held that it was “quite satisfied that the positioning of the plant and its growth was not an act of direct discrimination nor harassment directed towards the claimant.”

The Tribunal did find in favour of Mr Kenbata on one count as his bosses “ridiculed” his potted plant racism allegation openly in the office.

Mr Kenbata has appealed the decision.