A man who said girls who wear short skirts are inviting rape should not have been fired, a tribunal has ruled.

Raja Minhas, 44, was promoting Sky products with Mia Klemetti at a shopping centre stand on June 6, 2019.

A pair of teenage girls walked past in short skirts and Mr Minhas was alleged to have said: ‘Girls in general who wear skirts like that and then get raped, it’s their own fault.’

Ms Klemetti got into a heated argument with her colleague, arguing that ‘no one should be talking about rape on the basis that it is someone’s fault because of what they wear’. 

She later said the comment made her feel she could not dress in a certain way in front of her co-worker, but added that Mr Minhas was ‘not a bad guy’ and is entitled to his opinion. 

Advertisement

Advertisement

During the disagreement the pair were joined by a third colleague, Farhan Qudeer, and a complaint was made against Mr Minhas. 

He told his bosses what he had said was a ‘momentary lapse of judgment’ and that he would not say it again. 

But then he repeated that if girls ‘dress like that sick people might take advantage’. 

He also went on to tell investigators: ‘I saw two girls walking past, both girls were dressed inappropriately.

‘You could see the outline of their bodies. I mentioned that if this were Pakistan, people would be looking and it’s like an open invitation to be getting raped.’ 

He argued the conversation was a private one between colleagues and said he ‘regretted’ upsetting Ms Klemetti. 

Sky dismissed Mr Minhas for gross misconduct and for ‘violating common decency’, despite describing him as ‘contrite, apologetic, and full of remorse’.

But now, a judge has ruled the dismissal was unfair at an employment tribunal in Lancashire. 

Mr Robinson agreed that the remark was ‘foolish’ and expressed in ‘forceful terms’ but said Mr Minhas ‘came to regret it when he realised that the matter was being taken seriously’. 

However, the judge also acknowledged Mr Minhas was guilty of some misconduct because his behaviour made Ms Klemetti ‘rethink’ how she should dress in front of him. 

Mr Robinson said: ‘This was a heated argument between two people who had two different views of how people should dress in public.

‘The incident did not require the claimant to be dismissed and such a sanction in all the circumstances of this case is outside the band of reasonable responses.

Advertisement

Advertisement

‘Mr Minhas never condoned rape. He had a view as to how a certain kind of dress might affect the way some men may behave.

‘Much was made by the respondent witnesses about the possibility that Sky’s brand would be damaged. That was an improbable outcome.

‘The discussion between the claimant and Ms Klemetti was a private one.’

Mr Minhas said he was ‘pleased’ with the judge’s decision and would be trying to get his old job back at his remedy hearing, which will be held later this year. 

He added: ‘The main thing was to show that Sky made it out to be exaggerated which was disappointing.

‘It was something that was not nice and I am pleased it has been put right.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected] 

For more stories like this, check our news page.

Advertisement

Advertisement