Win for employee labelled “Paininarse” in race claim

7th March 2023

The case of Jama and another v Barking Havering and Redbridge University Hospital NHS Trust and Ms C Beck explored the issues pertaining to the Claimant’s race discrimination claims.

Ms Jama, a biochemist of Somali heritage, suffered acts of discrimination made against her by her colleagues because of her race, namely:

Being assaulted by a colleague who lost their temper and threw a plastic tube containing a fluid sample at her;

Being denied attendance at training course  unlike her white colleagues;

Being told to work while off sick with suspected Covid unlike her white colleagues; and

Being referred to as a “paininarse” in a shared document visible to her colleagues at Queen’s hospital and King George hospital.

The Tribunal heard from Ms Beck who admitted to inserting the “Paininarse” reference in the document on her personal computer but failed to remove the reference upon it being shared with other members of staff.

Employment Judge David Massarella stated: “We are satisfied that the original insertion of the term ‘paininarse’ into the documents was innocent… however, we considered that the position was different in relation to the failure to remove it from Ms Jama’s documents. We have concluded that this crossed the threshold into harassment: it had the effect of creating an offensive, indeed humiliating, environment for Ms Jama, given these documents were visible to colleagues.”

Having won her claims for discrimination, the Tribunal will list a further hearing to determine the level of compensation that should be awarded.

Everyone experiences difficulties when working with others from time to time but in no circumstance should a person suffer such conduct.

If you have experienced something similar to Ms Jama and would like legal advice or if you are an employer and have received a formal grievance alleging differential treatment, SMB’s employment team are happy to assist. Please contact me at for further details.