Morrisons 'denied Muslim couple Ramadan break', tribunal told
- 2 April 2014
- From the section Tees
Supermarket chain Morrisons unfairly denied a Muslim couple holidays during the holy month of Ramadan, it has been claimed.
Donna Tunkara, 32, and her husband Yassin, 31, from Linthorpe, Middlesbrough, worked for eight years at the firm's warehouse in Stockton.
Mrs Tunkara claimed the stress of working night shifts while fasting led her to suffer a breakdown.
An employment tribunal was told Morrisons denied racial discrimination.
Mrs Tunkara said they asked for a two-week holiday during Ramadan in August 2012 but were refused.
The holy month requires fasting during the day.
Mr Tunkara, who was born in Sierra Leone and cannot read or write English, resigned from the firm the following February and claims constructive dismissal.
'History of lies'
But Philip Crowe, solicitor for Morrisons, told the tribunal at Teesside Magistrates' Court that the couple were not telling the truth.
Responding to Mr Tunkara's claim that he was racially abused at work, Mr Crowe said: "You have a history of telling lies and being found out."
Mr Crowe said employees knew summer holidays must be booked by the end of February and were allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.
But the couple did not apply for leave until March, by which time other colleagues had booked time off, the tribunal was told.
The unemployed couple, who are representing themselves at the hearing, claim they asked for leave as soon as the dates for Ramadan were confirmed by their mosque.
The case continues.