Firm Faces 'Bindi Bhaji' Race Claim

The Evening Standard reports that 42 year-old Meena Sagoo, a VP at ING Wholesale Banking, is claiming $196,000 compensation after alleging racial abuse at work.

Ms Sagoo, who works for the firm at 60 London Wall, claims that her boss likened her and a male employee to the make-believe Indian family featured in the popular UK TV comedy 'The Kumars At No 42'. She also accuses her boss of calling a male colleague, Brij Bharati, 'Bindi Bhaji', after the Indian dish.

Demoted in May 2005, Ms Sagoo says that she was the only person transferred to another ING unit last month, and has been off sick since then suffering from depression. She says that her career at ING is effectively over as she has hit a 'glass ceiling' because of racism. Ms Sagoo will take her case to a UK employment tribunal in February, claiming discrimination and victimisation.

ING has issued a statement, which says that 'there are ongoing tribunal proceedings and it would not be appropriate to comment on any details. Ms Sagoo made a number of allegations in the Evening Standard, not all of which were previously raised with us in her grievance. Where allegations were raised, they were extensively and properly investigated by ING as part of our rigorous internal procedures. Following the investigation, her grievance was not upheld and ING strongly denies that she has been discriminated against'.

According to the newspaper, just last week a former colleague of Ms Sagoo, Allan Ho, was paid $39,000 following a race claim. An employment tribunal heard Mr Ho allege that a manager referred to him as 'a Oriental sex God' who needed 'to be soundly beaten'.

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