Mr Masood says he was targeted because of his religion. Picture: iStock
Mr Masood says he was targeted because of his religion. Picture: iStock

‘He farted in my face and I’m suing’

A SINGLE fart could cost a supermarket chain tens of thousands of dollars after a worker claimed he was a victim of bullying.

Atif Masood, who was employed as a customer assistant at UK grocery giant Tesco, is suing the company for $A36,000 after one of his senior colleagues "broke wind in his face" in December last year in what has been described by the victim as a "very serious and disturbing act".

Mr Masood claims the disgusting incident was just one of many examples of bullying he experienced at the hands of colleagues.

The 42-year-old, who works at Tesco's Thornton Heath branch in south London, alleges he was subjected to ongoing harassment and race discrimination by co-workers - and says initial complaints weren't taken seriously by the company.

According to the Mirror, Mr Masood says he received "less favourable treatment" because of his Pakistani background and Muslim faith within his workplace.

And while Tesco has denied the man's claims, an internal investigation into the alleged harassment did find there was "sufficient evidence" the farting incident did occur, based on reviewed CCTV footage.

Citing legal documents lodged at the London South employment tribunal, the Mirror revealed Mr Masood claimed there was "too much racism" within his store.

According to the Evening Standard, Mr Masood alleges he was regularly inundated with racist comments by his co-workers, after being called a "liar" in front of customers and being told "Muslims are terrorists".

Legal documents also claim Mr Masood experienced "unwanted conduct which had the purpose or effect of violating his dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating and/or offensive (situation)" due to his race, while Tesco denied the man had been discriminated against "because of, or for a reason related to race, religion or belief", the publication reported.

It revealed the colleague accused by Mr Masood of breaking wind has also denied all allegations.

A Tesco spokesperson told Metro everyone was welcome at the chain "regardless of their gender, race, background or education" but that they were "unable to comment on ongoing legal proceedings or the specifics of this case".

Mr Masood, who has been employed by Tesco since 2006, is being represented by Rahman Lowe Solicitors, and the matter will be dealt with during a hearing next year.

However, it's not the first time a workplace fart has made global headlines.

Earlier this year, Australian contract administrator David Hinsgt sued his former company, Construction Engineering, after claiming his supervisor would regularly "lift his bum and fart" on him.

Mr Hinsgt demanded $1.8 million in compensation after allegedly suffering from psychiatric and physical injuries as a result of being bullied in the workplace.

However, he ended up losing his case in March this year after Justice Rita Zammit found that even if the farting occurred, it "would not necessarily amount to bullying".

alexis.carey@news.com.au



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