'Scandalous' | Judge strikes out 59 tribunal claims after worker causes chaos during hearing

Judge strikes out 59 tribunal claims after worker causes chaos during hearing

An IT worker alleging unfair dismissal and discrimination had his 59 claims thrown out by an employment tribunal judge over his ‘unreasonable, scandalous and vexatious’ behaviour.

Shamir Ahmed Ali was dismissed for misconduct by Birmingham City University in March 2021 after claims that he filmed a woman without her consent, came to work with Covid symptoms, and failed to comply with sickness procedures.

Ali – who represented himself during the video hearing in Birmingham in June 2023 – complained about unfair dismissal, discrimination, harassment and victimisation.

He described his former employers as ‘incompetent retarded imbeciles’ and ‘barking dogs’ in emails to the tribunals, and repeatedly had to be warned against describing the respondent’s solicitor as ‘incompetent’ and ‘retarded’.

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Ali intimidated witnesses by suggesting that he knew where they lived, and threatened to sue multiple participants in the hearing for £10,000.

Ali also referred to Judge Battisby as ‘Judge Batty’ – a homophobic slur – and called the opposing solicitor ‘Harry Potter’.

The tribunal concluded that a fair hearing would not be possible due to his behaviour. Mr Ali ended any hopes of an appeal by responding to the ruling by shouting: ‘F*** you, bitch’

'He hit the self-destruct button'

Jim Moore, employee relations expert at HR consultants Hamilton Nash, said: “This employment tribunal reminds me of the saying, 'A man who is his own lawyer has a fool for a client.’

“Employment tribunals can be stressful and emotions can run high, but I cannot remember another case where a claimant has so effectively hit the self-destruct button.

“Mr Ali harassed witnesses, referred to staff at his former workplace as 'retarded incompetent imbecile staff' and then for good measure was abusive to the opposing barrister and the judge.

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“In the end, the Tribunal concluded that Mr Ali's unreasonable and vexatious behaviour made a fair trial impossible, resulting in his entire claim being struck out.

“If there was any hope of redemption in a later appeal, Mr Ali torpedoed any such prospect with his parting shots, where he shouted the F-word at the judge.

“People who find themselves in the unfortunate position of reluctantly taking a former employer to a tribunal would be well-advised to appoint a lawyer to represent them.

“Courtrooms are places for keeping your emotions in check, and as this case highlights, letting your temper get the better of you does not end well.“

Man banned from tribunal process after lodging 40+ 'vexatious' claims

The tribunal service is a way for workers to challenge any workplace decisions they feel are unfair or discriminatory, covering a myriad of protected characteristics such as race, gender, disability and age.

Most workers will be fortunate to never have to pursue legal action against an employer. However, one man felt so aggrieved by a string of job application rejections that he tried to launch legal proceedings on a bizarrely regular basis.

However, one man was recently banned from using the employment tribunals service after he was found to have made more than 40 unsubstantiated claims against firms that rejected his job applications.

David Taheri was found to have used the tribunal appeal process on a “habitual and persistent basis” between 2012 and 2020, submitting a total of 43 claims.

In 2018, he filed at least one claim every month, save for August, and even lodged three claims on one day in February.

That year alone, he attempted to secure “at least” £485k in compensation from 17 employers, the tribunal ruling said.

None of the claims were successful, either being withdrawn by Taheri or struck out by a judge.

Taheri, who is of Iranian ethnicity, made allegations against several would-be employers, typically on the grounds of race, age and disability discrimination. The claims were described as “vexatious” and being made without “any reasonable grounds” to cause “inconvenience, harassment and expense out of all proportion”.

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