A Dyson manager told an Iranian engineer he 'didn’t like Muslims', an employment tribunal heard.

Zeinab Alipourbabaie, who worked on Dyson’s new electric car project at the engineering giant’s Malmesbury and Hullavington bases, claimed she had been subjected to discrimination and harassment. She resigned in June 2018.

Bristol Employment Tribunal upheld three allegations of religious harassment and another of religious discrimination, but dismissed other claims she had suffered direct discrimination and harassment as a result of her race or religion. She also won her claim of constructive dismissal.

The tribunal will rule on compensation or other remedy at a later date.

The panel heard 39-year-old Ms Alipourbabaie, a non-practising Muslim from Iran, joined Dyson in 2014. Two years later she joined the company’s electric car project Automotive N526. Then acting up as systems team lead, she claimed she was passed over for promotion on a number of occasions.

In February 2018, she lodged an internal complaint against senior technical project manager, Kamaljit Chana, also a London borough councillor. In particular, she said that during a one-to-one meeting with Mr Chana in early 2017 he told her he “did not like Muslims and they are violent”, claimed “Pakistani men are grooming our girls” and spoke about the 9/11 terrorist attacks telling her his family did not fly anymore as they were scared. She told her boss about the “uncomfortable comments”.

Mr Chana denied making the comments. He told the tribunal he had asked Ms Alipourbabaie where she was from and, when she answered Iran, he said he “didn’t understand Iranian politics or the difference between Shia and Sunni people”.

An internal inquiry found that Mr Chana had bullied Ms Alipourbabaie, but decided there was insufficient evidence to say he had told the woman he “did not like Muslims”.

By contrast, the tribunal concluded that the conversation had taken place - and Mr Channa's account rejected. They found Mr Chana had excluded Ms Alipourbabaie from meetings and had deliberately excluded her from an email in March 2018.

Following the hearing, Ms Alipourbabaie said: “No one should have to endure the pain of harassment and discrimination that I suffered while working at Dyson as a result of actions of Kamaljit Chana.”

Her lawyer, Leila Moran of Leigh Day described the ruling as a “powerful moral victory”.

A Dyson spokesman said: “Dyson Automotive demanded a workplace free of discrimination, intimidation and harassment; they did not tolerate any form of unacceptable behaviour and treated any such allegations very seriously.

“These allegations were investigated fully and disciplinary action was taken against Kamaljit Chana who was found to have acted inappropriately; he no longer works for Dyson.”

The firm had launched mandatory training for all its employees. Claims around promotion and HR processes were not proven by the tribunal, Dyson said.