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Last Updated: Thursday, 12 July 2007, 13:16 GMT 14:16 UK
Potato worker wins sacking claim
The tribunal ruled the potato firm was wrong to sack Mr Dawson
A potato worker who was sacked after being accused of racism has won more than 13,000 compensation from his former employer.

An employment tribunal in Dundee agreed James Dawson was unfairly dismissed by Peter C Grewar (Potatoes) Ltd.

The forklift truck driver was fired by the Meigle-based company last October following a complaint.

It was claimed he had verbally abused Polish workers, which he strongly denied.

He admitted there had been an incident when a colleague from Eastern Europe had accused him of swearing at her, but it had been a misunderstanding, which had been sorted out.

Mr Dawson sued the potato firm for unfair dismissal and disability discrimination after being sacked on the spot by letter.

Automatically unfair

The document cited allegations of racist abuse, refusal to work overtime and refusal to continue as a designated first aider as the reasons for his dismissal.

Mr Dawson had been advised by his doctor to reduce his working hours after being diagnosed with high blood pressure and heart disease.

He gave up his work as a first aider at about the same time.

The potato business denied his dismissal was unfair or that he had been discriminated against. Mr Grewar said he had no idea Mr Dawson was disabled.

The tribunal ruled the dismissal was automatically unfair as the company failed to follow the proper procedure.

Tribunal chairman Ian McFatridge added: "So far as the claimant's alleged conduct in swearing at and abusing foreign staff is concerned the tribunal were not prepared to find that this had been in any way proved."

Mr Dawson has been awarded a total of 13,132 compensation, including 1,000 for injury to his feelings under the Disability Discrimination Act.


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