By: Pramod Thomas
A flatulent barrister has won £135,862 against the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) at an employment tribunal after his request to work from home was denied, reported The Telegraph.
Tarique Mohammed told the tribunal that he was unable to control his flatulence as it was a side effect of the medication he was taking for his heart condition.
The flatulence allegation was part of a set of claims made by Mohammed against his employers, who he accused of discrimination based on his disability following his heart attack.
In 2016, Mohammed started sharing a small office with another prosecutor, Paul McGorry, the tribunal heard.
After a few days, McGorry noticed that the former had flatulence. There were repeated incidents of flatulence in the small room.
On one occasion, McGorry asked Mohammed, ‘Do you have to do that Tarique?’
When he clarified that it was due to his medication, McGorry asked if he could step outside to do it and Mohammed disagreed.
The prosecutor argued that asking him to stop passing wind was not only embarrassing, it violated his dignity.
However, the tribunal determined that it was a sensible appeal made by his coworker, given the limited space of their shared office and the continual occurrence of the flatulence.
He accused his colleagues and superiors of discrimination, claiming that they intentionally disposed of his water bottles when he left them on a desk they shared and failing to pay for his barrister’s practising certificate while he was on sick leave.
Besides, Mohammed told the tribunal that he was asked to work one day a week 60 miles away. These claims, along with the flatulence complaint, were thrown out by the tribunal.
According to the tribunal’s verdict, the CPS was found to be responsible for disability discrimination and failing to implement appropriate accommodations for denying his requests, disregarding guidance from Occupational Health consultants, and removing him from his court-related duties.
The CPS acknowledged that it had been unjust in its treatment of him, as it had refused to permit him to work from home two days per week, depart from work at 4pm to assist him in managing his condition, and had taken him off court-related responsibilities.
“Many of the incidents about which [he] complains were unrelated to his disability … or were caused or aggravated by [him] over-reacting. Mr McGorry’s questions to [Mr Mohammed] were not asked with the purpose of violating [his] dignity or creating such an environment,” employment Judge Emma Hawksworth was quoted as saying by The Telegraph.
“It was not an unreasonable question to ask, when there had been repeated incidents of flatulence in a small office.”