After making more than 40 ‘vexatious’ claims, a man has been banned from using the employment tribunals service.
Mr Taheri was handed a Restriction of Proceedings Order (RPO) of indefinite notice, prohibiting him from making claims against employers without the permission of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) or the Judge of the High Court.
The EAT found Taheri was engaged in a “weaponisation” of the employment tribunal process, and had a “modus operandi” of applying for a job, bringing a claim against the employer if his applications were rejected, and seeking thousands of pounds in damages. His claims were most frequently brought on the grounds of race, age and disability discrimination. Taheri described himself as being of Iranian ethnicity and had also been diagnosed with prostate cancer.
Just some of Taheri’s claims included:
- In October 2012, Taheri brought a claim against Orchid Pubs after being rejected from a chef role. The pub claimed he was not invited to interview because of the “pushy and insistent nature” of his emails. Taheri was found guilty of harassment against a member of staff at Orchid, and was sentenced to 28 days of imprisonment and handed a two-year restraining order against the employer.
- In 2013, he claimed £5,000 against a clothing retailer after he was rejected from a part-time sales assistant role. The retailer claimed he had turned up at one of its shops and had been staring “menacingly” at staff through the window.
- On 6 November the same year, the president of the England and Wales ET wrote to the treasury solicitor about Taheri, describing how he “seeks thousands of pounds but then writes to the Respondent’s representatives repeatedly (20 or 30 times) demanding settlements of £500, and threatening to hold a press conference”. No formal action was taken as a result of the letter, but Taheri refrained from pursuing other claims for a number of years.
- On 31 January 2018, he sought compensation of “at least £10,000” after being invited to interview for a sales role at Parkdean Resorts Ltd, and being, in his words, “fobbed off again and again”. The holiday company had written to Taheri informing him that the position was no longer available due to full staffing levels. Another claim to the company for disability discrimination made in 2019 after four unsuccessful job applications was struck out after Taheri failed to pay a deposit of £600.
- On 28 February 2018, Taheri lodged separate claims for £25,000 of damages from both Stoneacre Ltd and Wilson and Co. Motor Sales Ltd. The claim against Stoneacre was settled on 10 April, and the claim against Wilson and Co was withdrawn after Taheri failed to attend a preliminary telephone hearing.
- On 28 February 2018, he also lodged a third claim of £25,000 after being rejected from a sales role at Perry Motor Sales Ltd. The employer described how he had been “overbearing” during an initial group exercise, and had emailed threatening litigation unless he was invited to another interview. The claims of age and race discrimination were later dismissed and Taheri was ordered to pay the company £1,000.
- On 13 December, he claimed £50,000 for age discrimination after being turned down for a sales adviser role at Virgin Media Ltd. After receiving a rejection letter from the employer, he had replied stating “this is is disability discrimination”, copying in “BBC Watchdog and Acas”. The claim was struck out after he failed to pay a £750 deposit.
In 2018 Taheri filed a claim every month, except August. He attempted to secure “at least” £485,000 of compensation from 17 different employers. Taheri argued that since February 2021, he had “only” three claims outstanding; however the EAT commented that three claims was “not an insignificant number”. The tribunal ruled that he had “used the ET process to put pressure on would-be employers to enter into low-value settlements” and “habitually and persistently brought proceedings without any reasonable grounds”, causing would-be employers “inconvenience, harassment and expense out of all proportion”.
It’s clear that some of the affected employers sought to “buy off” Taheri out of court for smaller sums of money, “rather than incur legal fees of defending it”. Employers affected by vexatious claims that wish to do this can apply for the case to be struck out, or ask for a deposit order to be issued to the claimant. In this case, Mr Taheri refused to pay a number of deposit orders made against him and so the proceedings were discontinued.
Taheri could not be contacted for comment.
Original article here.