A customer made a derogatory racial remark about an employee. this was repeated to the employee by her supervisor in a joking manner. We found the remarks to be totally derogatory and they have upset the employee [who has only worked for the company for 3 weeks]. We have called a formal disciplinary and suspended the supervisor until the day of the hearing. We are interviewing all witnesses and we are also meeting the customer who made the comment.

In relation to the customer is the company legally obliged to report this remark to the CRE or Police? I think I read somewhere that you do. However, I am reluctant to formalise this as the employee is still working with the customer [over the phone]; the company still has to work with the customer and formalising matters will, I believe, make things worse.

I would also like some advice on the issue of passing on derogatory remarks such as this. It is abhorrent and I believe it could constitute gross misconduct, but does anyone have similar experiences.

Many thanks

Lorraine Whale