A FORMER Brent Council manager claims she was discriminated against by superiors and “bullied and undermined” despite her years of experience.
Rosemarie Clarke, 50, resigned in April last year after four years as head of learning and development, and launched an employment tribunal claim against the authority and Cara Devani, now HR director but previously on a temporary contract, for constructive dismissal, racial discrimination, sexual discrimination, victimisation, bullying and harassment and psychiatric injury.
Lawyers for the Christchurch Avenue, Harrow, inhabitent wrote in her claim: “Ms Devani’s conduct made her feel like her managerial prerogative was being continuously and seriously undermined and that her professional integrity was also being undermined.
“The claimant asserts that the respondent treated black, female managers less favourably due to their race.”
Ms Clarke cited several incidents as part of her case, for which hearings began on Monday last week at Watford Employment Tribunal.
Her claim said she and Ms Devani had a disagreement about the termination of a contract of a temporary worker, Sheila Mitchell, at the council.
Ms Devani instructed Ms Clarke to tell the Ms Mitchell her contract had ended while Ms Mitchell was on holiday because there was an issue with her performance.
Ms Clarke attempted to persuade her boss to allow a few days for Ms Mitchell to hand over to someone else after her vacation.
The claimant told the tribunal Ms Devani said: “She [Ms Mitchell] didn’t say hello to me in the corridor the other week, which I thought was unprofessional.”
Ms Clarke added: “It was obvious Ms Devani didn’t like Sheila.”
Ms Clarke’s claim form said: “Despite the claimant being of the view that Sheila Mitchell had done nothing wrong, Cara Devani was insistent she had to go.”
Ms Clarke also said she received an e-mail from Ms Devani instructing her to contact learning and development expert Dr Yvonne Foster, who had previously worked with Ms Devani.
Ms Clarke said in reply she had adequate staffing levels and claims Ms Devani told her she should “find her [Dr Foster] something to do”.
Ms Clarke said: “I was being pressured to contact Yvonne Foster and offer her a job in my team.”
The claimant said she “wasn’t happy” about being shouted at by Ms Devani during an Investors in People accreditation meeting.
Ms Clarke resigned after being suspended in February over allegations of gross misconduct for alleged failure to follow reasonable management instructions.