Insulted by colleagues as “monkey head”

A black employee is called a “monkey head” on various occasions by a colleague. When he brings this up, his supervisor does not take the complaint seriously. The employee brings the issue to the Meldpunt Discriminatie Regio Amsterdam and asks for advice. As a result, his supervisor threatens to transfer him unless he withdraws his complaint from the Meldpunt Discriminatie. The employee refuses to do so and is immediately transferred to another department.

Intake & mediation: influencing internal policy

Together with the client it is agreed that the best course of action is to send a letter of complaint to the company management. To get the correct contact details the Meldpunt Dicriminatie Regio Amsterdam contacts the executive secretary. The next day, before the letter of complaint is even sent, the head of the company’s HR department reaches out to the Meldpunt Discriminatie. The executive secretary briefed her on the incident. The head of HR apologises for what went down and promises to tackle the problem internally at the next executive meeting, as discrimination and inappropriate behaviour appear to be common problems at the client’s department.

Solution: apologies from the colleague and supervisor

Following the intervention by the Meldpunt Discriminatie Regio Amsterdam, the head of HR organises a mediation meeting between the employee, the colleague and the supervisor. The employee receives an apology from both offenders. He returns to his old department where he will now also fulfil a signalling role on issues of discrimination and inappropriate behaviour at work.

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