Woman Loses Race Discrimination Case

Article excerpt

Byline: LISA HUTCHINSON

A MIXED race diversity adviser who claimed a colleague was given a new job because she had "blue eyes and blonde hair" has failed in her race discrimination claim against a North East fire authority.

But Sultana Kimti has told how she has "no regrets" about taking her former employers to a tribunal and has moved on with her life.

She took legal action against the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority after she was made redundant from her role as regional diversity and equality policy adviser in April 2011. Claiming victimisation and sex and race discrimination, Ms Kimti said she had been unfairly dismissed by her employer and complained of preferential treatment of white colleagues.

Ms Kimti said a colleague had been appointed to a new managerial role because she had blue eyes and blonde hair, and complained that she herself had been left out of events because she was not white.

Rejecting her case last June, an employment tribunal said her redundancy was "fair and wholly unconnected with her race or protected acts".

And now the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has concluded there is no justification to alter that finding. Ms Kimti, of Gateshead, who now has a job as a specialist community public health practitioner, said: "I value my time spent with Tyne and Wear and the regional Fire and Rescue services and have no regret for joining the Fire Service.

"I feel that I made a valuable and meaningful contribution to the community safety and social change agenda in the region during my time. …