Judge finds Apple unfairly fired a UK worker over racial abuse

Apple Logo from Apple Store light
(Image credit: iMore)

A UK court has ruled that Apple unfairly fired an employee at one of its London stores.

The tech giant's investigation was "poor and incomplete" according to an employment tribunal judge, despite evidence of a racist comment being made by Timothy Jeffries to a co-worker.

As per Bloomberg's report, Jeffries' employment was terminated but the company did not have a zero-tolerance policy in place for discrimination and harassment. According to the ruling, Apple needed to set out a defined zero-tolerance policy and consequences for breaching it.

Apple employee wins tribunal case despite inappropriate comments

Despite there being no such policy, the judge said:

“In this case, there was ample evidence that there was a culture in the repair room which embraced explicit language and some jokes which may be considered inappropriate, whether they referred to race or other sensitive issues."

Jeffries was not the only staff member accused of inappropriate comments, and Apple was investigating the repair room culture.

According to the judgement, Jeffries said "See you in nine months, as long as you lot don’t release another deadly disease on the world,” to a colleague of Chinese heritage, who made an official complaint.

Evidence suggested that the comment was taken as a joke by the colleague in question, as well as other staff before Jeffries was fired after an investigation - but the judge ruled “No reasonable employer would dismiss somebody by relying on the application of a zero-tolerance policy, which does not exist."

“I’m very happy with the outcome,” Jeffries commented. “It’s important to read the judgment as a whole to understand the case in context.”

MacBook Air M3 | $1099 at Apple

MacBook Air M3 | $1099 at Apple

The MacBook Air M3 is Apple's latest laptop, and comes in 13 and 15-inch sizes.

More from iMore

Lloyd Coombes

Lloyd Coombes is a freelance writer with a specialism in Apple tech. From his first, hand-me-down iMac, he’s been working with Apple products for over a decade, and while he loves his iPhone and Mac, the iPad will always have his heart for reasons he still can’t quite fathom. Since moving from blogging to writing professionally, Lloyd’s work can be found at TechRadar, Macworld, TechAdvisor and plenty more. He’s also the Editor in Chief at GGRecon.com, and on the rare occasion he’s not writing you’ll find him spending time with his son, or working hard at the gym (while wearing an Apple Watch, naturally). You can find him on Twitter @lloydcoombes.