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Race Ruled Out of Unfair Firing at ABN Amro Group
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An employment tribunal in London ruled that a U.K. lawyer that worked at ABN Amro Group NV, was fired by the bank unfairly, even though they rejected the allegations that she was discriminated because of her religion, gender or race.

Angela Cobbina, 41, formerly of ABN Amro, is a black woman who has sued the Dutch lender. She claims that she had to deal with racial discrimination by an executive, Paul Schuilwerve, who said he couldn’t see her in a photograph.


The judges at the Tribunal dismissed the discrimination part of the lawsuit today, adding that her dismissal in September wasn’t fair. They didn’t provide a written ruling or reasons for the decision.

“We are pleased the judgment supports our strong belief that the various allegations of discrimination on grounds of sex, race and religion were entirely groundless, said Alex Evans, a spokesman for ABN Amro.

Emma Sanderson, Cobbina’s lawyer said in an email statement, “throughout these legal proceedings the bank maintained that it did nothing wrong, the Tribunal disagreed.” The bank handled Cobbina’s dismissal in a way that was “unfair and unlawful,” she said.

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The tribunal upheld only one of the more than 40 allegations filed by Corbinna, Evans said. “While we don’t have the tribunal’s reasons, we expect it to be merely a question of procedure, he said.

The former chief executive officer of the bank’s U.K. unit, Schuilwerve, testified on March 3rd that the comments he made about the photos and the color black wasn’t made to be racist. Cobbina told the court that Schilwerve  said he couldn’t see her in a photograph and made comments about Blackfriars, an area of Central London, in which he also mentioned Blackadder, a television comedy.

He said, the racism allegations were unfair and “deeply hurtful.” In an email, Cobbina said “I always believed that I had been treated unfairly by ABN Amro and the decision of the tribunal has endorsed that belief.”

Image credit: Bloomberg


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