Former Asda supermarket worker Adnan Malik has lodged a claim for harassment against his former employer.

He says that he was dismissed by reason of his speech impediment, which had been misunderstood as aggressive when in fact he was just frustrated by the fact he was finding it difficult to articulate himself. 

Mr Malik worked at the Asda store in Reading, Berkshire, where his cousin, Amnar Sarwar also worked. She had complained about his behaviour towards her and claimed that he had been verbally aggressive towards her. She explained that he had even threatened to cut her up! After a couple of incidents the police were called and Mr Malik was advised to maintain a distance from his cousin and fellow colleague. Given that the two were working a different shift pattern this shouldn't have been an issue, however, Mr Malik had returned to work during the times he knew his cousin would be at work. On one such occasion he was again aggressive towards her.

Mr Malik's manager explained how 'he was dismissed because of this act of intimidation and bullying. He continued going back when he shouldn't have done. He added that 'irrespective of the shouting and the gesticulating issue it would have been dismissal anyway' given that he should not have gone near Ms Anwar. He should have been on holiday but had come to the store and was seen speaking to Ms Anwar angrily and looking agitated. Given that she was used to his body language and behaviour the fact that this confrontation had left her so upset had been enough to dismiss Mr Malik.

Mr Malik has denied that he was threatening. He claims he raised his voice merely in an effort to be heard since he was having trouble with his speech. However, witnesses said that he had appeared aggressive. In his defence Mr Malik explained that it helps him to communicate if he raises his voice. Given that he had worked at Asda for the last seven years, this should have been well known amongst the staff members there. He explained that the gesticulating that he was seen to have been doing was another reaction to him not being able to speak. The customer who witnessed the event saw him gesticulating and heard him shouting but did not mention the threat to cut Ms Anwar up. He says that she made that up due to a family feud and that he said no such thing. The trail is on-going.

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