Asian-origin woman wins 14-year-long race discrimination battle

London, Jan 30 (IANS) Natasha Sivanandan, a 58-year-old Asian-origin woman, has won a 14-year-long court battle over sex and race discrimination after she was turned down for a post at a government-funded anti-racism group.

Sivanandan, a qualified barrister, won 420,000 pounds in compensation, the Daily Mail reported.

The row began in June 1999 when Sivanandan, from Wood Green in north London, applied for a job as a training and development coordinator and race discrimination case worker with the Hackney Action for Racial Equality (HARE).

She was turned down for the post following an interview.

She started proceedings against both HARE and the Hackney Council, alleging sex and race discrimination.

She claimed she was treated unfairly in the interview because she had already brought a discrimination case against HARE after being turned down following a previous job interview.

In April 2002, she was awarded 15,076 pounds by an employment tribunal in relation to the original complaint.

In June 2003, the tribunal found that HARE and the Council were liable to pay for victimisation of Sivanandan in relation to both interviews.

In 2007, she was awarded 1,905 pounds in relation to "injury to feelings caused by race discrimination".

Then, in 2009, she was handed a 421,415-pound payout against the Council.

The total sum included compensation for financial loss, for injury to feelings, for injury to health and aggravated damages plus interest and costs.

Hackney appealed but the judge dismissed the appeal and refused to grant Hackney permission to appeal further to the Supreme Court.

Sivanandan has successfully taken various anti-racism groups to court for more than 25 years.

Her first grievance came when she was working as a race adviser at London's Brent Council. She accused a colleague of being "macho and intimidating".

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