A POLISH engineer who was called “Borat” at work has won £2,250 in compensation after a tribunal ruled that the nickname was racist.
Adrian Ruda, of engineering firm TEi, on Calder Vale Road, was found by a tribunal panel to have been “degraded and humiliated” by the name given to him by a colleague.
The Leeds tribunal said Mr Ruda, an engineering supervisor, was called “Borat” over a four-week spell in 2007 by one of the welders in his charge.
It ruled that someone who was not from Eastern Europe would not have been called Borat – the name of a Kazakhstan character created by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen – and so Mr Ruda “had been the subject of direct race discrimination”.
The tribunal said Mr Ruda was also called “gay” by his colleagues.
And it said he often responded to the jibes with the phrase “I love you”, which was his way of diffusing situations in which he felt uncomfortable.
Employment judge Jonathan Whittaker said: “Although the majority, if not all, other employees had nicknames applied to them, the examples of other nicknames which were given to the tribunal were not in any way associated with the racial or national origins of the persons in question.
“The application of the nickname ‘Borat’ violated the claimant’s dignity in the period in question and created for him a degrading, humiliating and defensive working environment.”
The tribunal ruled that TEi introduce a “comprehensive written harrassment and bullying policy” and a training session on the principle of equal treatment.
Mr Ruda was given £2,000 for injury to feelings and £250 compensation.