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Jalil v The Palace Gallery [2009] SAEOT 3

Mr Emmanuel Jalil said that he went to the Red Square nightclub wearing a buttoned collarless shirt, jeans and white shoes. While waiting in line he was told that he could not enter the club. He asked why and was eventually told to go home and change his shoes. Mr Jalil asked security if there was anything else he should change, and the response was "Go cut your hair and change your colour."

The four security staff on duty at Red Square that night denied making this comment to Mr Jalil and said they knew people should not be denied entry based on their race.

The Equal Opportunity Tribunal was satisfied that Mr Jalil was refused entry based on his skin colour, and found that Red Square has discriminated against him because of his race.

The Tribunal held that Red Square was responsible for the actions of the security staff as it had not "exercised all reasonable diligence" to prevent a breach of the Equal Opportunity Act.

To ensure that staff did not breach the Equal Opportunity Act, Red Square should have:

  • in place a clear anti-discrimination policy,
  • a training system to ensure that staff knew the policy and their obligations, and
  • regularly reminded staff of the policy and their obligations.

The Tribunal said that where staff have a high degree of discretion, it's particularly important the above measures are in place.

Red Square was ordered to pay Mr Jalil $1200 in compensation and provide him with a written apology.

Click on the link below to read the Equal Opportunity Tribunal's decision.

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