Most Recent Publications


False workplace racism allegations increasingly punished by courts

By Bradley Workman-Davies, Director, Werksmans Attorneys


The problem of being accused of racism, when the allegation is untrue, is starting to come to the fore and increasingly tested by our legal system.


Race and racism is such a sensitive issue and the consequences of being labelled a racist can be far-reaching. A perpetrator can face dismissal by their employer, whether the racist conduct was committed in the workplace or even outside of it, face criminal charges and action can be taken in the equality courts.


In the context of the workplace, there have been a growing number of instances in which employers have had to deal with false allegations of racism. They have had to consider what to do with an employee who has made this allegation, either maliciously, or even carelessly, against a colleague. 


But playing the race card, colloquially speaking, is now increasingly being recognised as a material misconduct on the part of an employee and has been recognised even by the Labour Appeal Court as justifying dismissal of the employee who made the unfounded allegation.


Employers should recognise that any allegations of racist conduct must be carefully investigated, with the due interests of the accused as well as the person making the allegation taken into account. 


Whoever has acted improperly in the matter – whether it be the person who actually acted in a racist manner, of the person who made the allegation maliciously to smear the other’s reputation, or where no reasonable grounds to found the allegation exist – must bear the consequences. Genuine racism is deservedly being systematically rooted out in all aspects of our society, not least in the workplace, in order to try and move away from the injustices of the past, and towards a more egalitarian society.


For more information, please contact Bradley Workman-Davies at 

Article published with the kind courtesy of Werksmans Attorneys








Courses and Workshops




2020: Case Law Updates: Online Conference

30 October 2020 (08:30 - 16:00)

Case Law Updates: Online Conference

Management and Leadership Skills

04, 05 & 06 November 2020 (08:30 - 16:00)

Interactive Online Course

Strategic Human Resources Management (HRM) and - Business Partnering

11, 12 & 13 November 2020 (08:30 - 16:00)

Interactive Online Course

COVID-19 Workplace Preparedness Health, Safety and Claims Management Course

12 & 13 November 2020 (09:00 - 13:00)

Interactive Online Course

Health and Safety Representative and Committee Training Course

19 November 2020 (08:30 - 16:00)

Interactive Online Course

Workshop Chairing Disciplinary Hearings

19 & 20 November 2020 (09:00 - 16:00)

Interactive Online Course

POPIA: Protection of Personal Information Act

20 November 2020 (09:00 - 12:00)

Interactive Online Course

Occupational Injuries and Diseases Legal Update and Claims Management Course

20 November 2020 (08:30 – 16:00)

Interactive Online Course

 Our Clients 


Android App On Google Play

Android App On Google Play