Jewish Broker Told to Wear Hitler Uniform
A Jewish broker is suing his former City of London employers after he was told to wear an Adolf Hitler uniform at work for being late, the Guardian reported Tuesday.
The company, Tullett and Tokyo Liberty, refused to comment, but sent AFP a copy of a letter it had written to Laurent Weinberger admitting the incident but claiming it was all part of the office culture.
Weinberger, 33, is suing the company for racial discrimination and unfair dismissal. A preliminary employment tribunal hearing begins Wednesday.
According to the Guardian, his grandmother was killed by the Nazis at the Auschwitz concentration camp.
Tullett and Tokyo's letter offers to pay 50,000 pounds (75,000 dollars) to an unspecified Jewish charity if Weinberger withdraws his claim.
The broker resigned in May last year, two weeks after the incident and one week after the firm decided that his desk had been performing badly and so he would have to move to another section with a pay cut.
In its letter the company said workers would order people who arrived late on Fridays to wear a costume. "The choice of costumes was often in bad taste and sometimes wholly inappropriate," it admitted.
However, Weinberger joined in enthusiastically, it added, making offensive remarks about the Scottish and Welsh and to Jewish and non-Jewish colleagues.
He was also one of those behind the idea of choosing a pope's costume for someone who was an Irish Protestant.
"This behavior was done in fun," it added. "There appears to have been no malice involved. No individual was singled out for special treatment."
But sometimes things went too far. "To get you a Hitler costume was wholly inappropriate," as was the pope's costume.
"Nevertheless, we do not believe that this misguided behaviour amounted to race discrimination."
The letter accused Weinberger as "opportunism" in claiming discrimination, and, after offering the money to a charity, warned that if he persisted, "we will not be blackmailed." -- LONDON (AFP)
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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