Crown London Aspinalls Loses Racial Discrimination Case Against Former Croupier
Semhar Tesfagiorgis worked at Crown London Aspinalls from 2007 till 2020. She sued her employer for racial discrimination, sex discrimination, victimisation and harassment over an incident in 2019.
The Eritrean born Tesfagiorgis won her racial discrimination lawsuit against her former employer after an Employment Tribunal ruled in her favour but dismissed her sex discrimination, victimisation and harassment claims.
Tesfagiorgis said in her lawsuit that she was asked to leave her table as two VIP patrons made it clear that they wanted to interact only with a fair skinned casino dealer. Crown London removed her from the table and gave into the requests of the two VIP clientele by bringing in white dealers.
She approached her HR manager Laura Attrill and Managing Director Michael Branson to voice her concerns about being discriminated but her concerns were brushed off as her superiors told her that it was highly likely that the VIP patrons wanted white dealers because they were superstitious and not because they were racist.
Tesfagiorgis wasn’t happy with these remarks because she had faced similar instances in the past. This time around though she decided to do something about it and file charges against her employer. She said she could no longer stay quiet because she understood that her employer would not protect her from racial discrimination and that she could no longer work in an environment that was so hostile to black people.
Tesfagiorgis said what made matters worse was the fact that Crown London added insult to injury by trying to justify their patron’s discriminatory behaviour and in doing so showed their own preference for discrimination.
Crown London Pulled Up For Discrimination
Employment Judge Elliott heard both sides of the story including Crown London’s explanation that it was their responsibility to accommodate their patron’s requests as it was in the best interests of their business.
Judge Elliott said Crown London made no attempt to persuade their patrons to change their mind and behaviour. It was direct discrimination and they did nothing to protect Tesfagiorgis. However, the Judge did not find Crown London guilty of other charges including sex discrimination and harassment.
Tesfagiorgis said she was pleased with the ruling from the tribunal as this was a typical David vs. Goliath case. Her legal counsel Shazia Khan said this ruling was good for the casino industry as a whole as it showed that racism in any form should not be tolerated.