Sikh NHS worker loses race discrimination claim after she was compared to Karate Kid's 'Mr Miyagi' by a colleague when s
Narinderjeet Kaur Dhillon initially laughed off the comparison to the martial art master from the hit 1984 film, an employment tribunal heard. Mr Miyagi, a fictional master of the martial art played by award-winning actor Pat Morita, has such quick reflexes he can catch and squash a fly in his fingers. It was not until Ms Dhillon, who is Sikh, later saw the film on TV that she felt the comment was discriminatory because it compared her to an 'old Chinese man'. She then attempted to sue the NHS Trust at the tribunal for racism. However, the panel rejected her claim after ruling she had made it too late and that it not discriminatory. The hearing, held in Leeds, heard the comment was made by trainer Karl Ward during a session at Leeds Teaching Hospital Trust, Yorkshire, in October 2017. The panel heard that the remark was humorous and that everyone present, including herself, had treated it as a joke, and that she had only found it discriminative later on. Ms Dhillon told the panel she officially complained about the comment in April 2018 saying 'the other trainer said I was Mr Miyagi after I had squashed a fly'. The hearing was told: 'Ms Dhillon said that at a training session of 5th October 2017 one of the trainers, Karl Ward, had said to her 'who do you think you are, the Karate Kid?' ' She claimed the comment was discriminatory because 'it compares her to an old Chinese man, and because there is a separate and distinct martial arts culture within her own Sikh tradition'. The tribunal heard that at the time however, Ms Dhillon thought that the incident was 'humorous' and she had 'treated it as a joke'.