Charles Russell Speechlys has been accused of keeping a manager in his post after he made prejudiced comments to Muslim staff implying they were terrorists.

A manager in the IT team, whom RollOnFriday is not naming, allegedly made the first ill-judged gag in the immediate aftermath of the 2017 Westminster Bridge terror attack, in which Briton Khalid Masood killed six people and injured more than 50 after driving his car into pedestrians.

The same afternoon, according to sources, 'Mr Tact' greeted a Muslim service desk employee who was arriving for his afternoon shift by remarking, "Oh hi, did you just happen to come via Westminster Bridge screaming "ALLAHALLAHALLAHALLAHALLAH!?"

Other members of the team "looked at each other in shock", said a source, although the team member was unaware of the atrocity and so "shrugged it off". 

"Luckily one member of the team was brave enough to report the incident to the then Director of IT, Rob Cohen", who went straight to HR, said a source.

In the ensuing investigation it emerged that Mr Tact had a habit of dropping incredible clangers. Just the day before interviews with staff were conducted, Mr Tact allegedly spotted another Muslim IT analyst using Google Maps’ satellite function to study his holiday destination, and asked him, "Are you planning your next attack?"


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Mr Tact, off to fix a computer.


Staff concerned by Mr Tact's "racist comments" were left feeling short-changed by the investigation, sources told RollOnFriday. After a meeting in which HR promised "a zero tolerance approach to such behaviour", Mr Tact was only temporarily removed from his post. He was re-assigned to a new project after he apologised to the team and said it would not happen again, and is now back in his old position.

The SD analyst who reported the incident left shortly after the investigation concluded.

A spokeswoman for CRS said, “We have policies in place to codify acceptable and unacceptable behaviour which are shared with everyone in our Firm. All partners and employees are able to make reports in confidence directly to the HR team".
 
She continued, “We expect our people to demonstrate consideration for and respect towards colleagues, clients and business partners. To ensure our culture is inclusive there is training on diversity and inclusion on joining, with further mandatory training for all partners, legal directors, and managers, to inform them about the impact of language and behaviour on others, and about role-modelling the right behaviours.” 

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Comments

Anon 06 September 19 09:16

Absolutely shocking that CRS would let the manager stay despite its 'zero tolerance' policy - rumour has it, the policy has been renamed to 'complete tolerance'. 

Sorrydidyousaysomething 06 September 19 10:30

I'm going to play devil's advocate here and say that although the comments are indefensible, if he showed contrition and a genuine willingness to improve and the team (including the subject of the comments) were willing to give him another chance then that's the better route than just pushing him out the door.  I don't know if those things happened, but, if they did, I'm a big believer in second chances.  It's the best way to learn.

Anonymous 06 September 19 10:38

Sounds like shit banter. If the other team members willingly engaged in it and dished it back to him normally- with these incidents crossing the line - then the decision makes sense. If however he was just throwing around insults and the others did not have the type of banter relationship with him where they enjoyed back and forth jokes then he should be gone. 

anon 06 September 19 11:15

This is not "shit" banter, it is clear racism.

Tolerance of any comments which based of negative prejudices are not acceptable in any shere in life.

In this age of 'Brexit' and 'Tumpanism' and the growth of the far right - intolerance is on the rise and we could all find ourselves on the slippery slope.

Zero Tolerance means Zero tolerance, CRS should have due regard for the impact of this individuals actions, which can be hugely damaging when combined with the rise of hate crime within the wider context of the world today.

Dinner table test 06 September 19 11:19

Disgusting.  I wonder if he would still be employed if his "shit banter" was deemed anti-Semitic?

Anonymous 06 September 19 11:33

I think what 10:38 is getting at is if the people involved had communal banter with them all throwing it about and there will poor judgement on a couple of comments then it is slightly less unpalatable than if the office did not have a banter atmosphere and the challenge was just being horrible. 

Lydia 06 September 19 12:29

Oh dear. What a fool.

However I don't think it would be racist but more like religious discrimination. There are plenty of white British people who are muslim for example.

Anon 06 September 19 14:01

"Zero tolerance" is applied depending on your worth to firm.  How many partners have we all see get away with mind blowingly bad behaviour, normally to female members of staff, and there's no reprimand.  No connection could obviously be drawn between their team's billing and which clients they had.  Wragges has this one partner....

Anonymous 06 September 19 17:20

Not in any way condoning the appalling comments Mr. Tact made, I believe employment law requires escalating responses from management.  They took steps to remediate.  If he learned from this and reforms that's better than having a disgruntled, still ignorant ex-employee out there still spreading the love.  And in the event he reoffends and is fired, management can defend against any wrongful dismissal suit by pointing to progressive discipline steps taken.

Algazel 06 September 19 18:54

Race does not only mean skin colour. It can also refer to ethnic group or any other distinct group of people. So hatred of Islam in the context of today’s Britain is racism. Sorry, stupid arguments like “Islam is not a race” trotted out by thugs like tommy Robinson will just not wash. 

Wildoats 07 September 19 02:07

“We have policies in place to codify acceptable and unacceptable behaviour”

Someone actually said that. 

 

 

Anonymous 07 September 19 08:08

'Zero tolerance' is just a mantra. If there was really zero tolerance there would be nobody left in employment.

Anonymous 10 September 19 13:50

Think the IT Director should have tried to resolve the matter themselves instead of running to HR.

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