Pope comment in newsroom was not harassment on grounds of religion

An employment tribunal has dismissed claims of harassment and victimisation on grounds of religion brought by a sub-editor, arising out of a comment shouted by another sub-editor across the newsroom which contained offensive language relating to the Pope.

The claimant, a practising Catholic, found the comment to be offensive and complained that he had felt intimidated and frightened by it.

The tribunal found that there had been no intention to cause offence and that, although the claimant had been upset by the comment, it was not reasonable for the comment to have had the effect of creating a hostile environment for him. Neither had the comment been made on grounds of religion, when examined in context. (Heafield v Times Newspaper Limited ET/3202080/2010.)

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