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Meena Sagoo, vice president of the bank, discriminated


NRI Sagoo demand 100,000 pounds compensation for racism

London, Nov.30, 2006
Gary Mukherjee

NRI Meena Sagoo, 42, working in a London ING bank, is demanding over 100,000 pounds in compensation alleging that she has been a target of discrimination and racism while at work.

Ms Sagoo, from Hounslow, joined the bank's London Wall offices in 2002 and became a vice-president a year later, developing computer systems for the human resources team. Her salery was about 80,000 pounds/yr

Racism at ING bank:

  • She claimed Mr Mutter had made 'quite incredible' racist taunts that began shortly after she first arrived.
  • She said: 'I was sitting in an open-plan office and a Sri Lankan male colleague was there too. Richard came up to us and said, 'Do you realise what we call you two? We call you The Kumars At No 42.'I did not think it was very amusing but I had only just joined and did not dare say anything.'
  • She said Mr Mutter called Indian colleague Mr Bharati 'Bindi Bhaji' but at that point she spoke out. 'I said, 'Actually Richard, his name is Brij Bharati. It can't be that difficult to pronounce. Some things never change do they? Richard was smirking and thought it was a joke. I could not believe what I was hearing.'
  • Mr Mutter once had to write an apology after verbally abusing and assaulting an Asian colleague in the bank's Amsterdam offices, she claimed.
  • Ms Sagoo alleges Mr Mutter blighted her career prospects. She applied for promotion in early 2005 but was not interviewed. In May 2005, she was demoted and last month she was the only member of staff to be transferred to another company. She has been off work suffering from depression since then.
  • She said: 'When I joined I assumed if I worked hard and proved myself I would get promoted. I never imagined I would face any problems with career progression, especially not due to my colour or race.

    'It really felt like I hit a glass ceiling, with Richard making sure he double-glazed it for me. I was looking forward to a very long career at ING but now that has been cut short. The past few years have been extremely stressful. I have been sicker than I've ever been in my whole life.

  • Ms Sagoo's lawyer, Lawrence Davies, said her claim was for a 'six-figure sum'.

    Ms Sagoo's case will be heard in February.




NRI Meena Sagoo