Woman sues Brit law firm for race discrimination
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Last Updated: Wednesday, July 07, 2010, 17:50
London: A woman of Pakistani-origin has sued her employer, a British law firm, for racial discrimination alleging that one of the bosses made offensive remarks while another called her "Paki" following the Mumbai terror attack.

Jasmine Akhtar, 28, is seeking damages after claiming that she was subjected to months of taunts and intimidation by three partners at London-based Goodge Law, which specialises in personal accident and injury.

According to a report in The Daily Telegraph, Akhtar claimed that she was also treated unsympathetically when she suffered pregnancy-related problems and was bullied into missing a scan.

Akhtar, who earned 23,000 pounds a year, told an industrial tribunal that she was "stunned" when one of the partners, Josephine Michaels, made a racially-offensive remark after the Mumbai attacks.

Akhtar said on hearing about the horrific events she commented to Michaels that she could not understand how someone could do such a thing.

But Michaels replied: "Well you should know - it's always your lot, you are a Paki aren't you?" Akhtar, who joined the firm in July 2008, told the Kingsway Tribunal in central London.

"I was deeply offended," she said.

She also claimed that another partner, Michael Greenstein, also made racially-offensive remarks targeting her, asking her on one occasion if she thought Asian clients were from "Paki land".

She said she felt singled out as the only member of the team of Pakistani and Muslim origin.

She also said she was treated unsympathetically by the third partner, Rajesh Kalia, when she was pregnant.

But Richard Samuel, representing Goodge Law, claimed Akhtar had a good relationship with her bosses.

He said she had sent emails to Greenstein in which she referred to him being Jewish.

In one email where he joked about throwing wet sponges at her, she replied: "Typical Jewish behaviour, always first in line to hit a Muslim".

In another email she told Greenstein: "Stop picking and choosing, stop behaving like a Muslim, it's embarrassing".


First Published: Wednesday, July 07, 2010, 17:50

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