A judge has ruled that an employee was expressing a legitimate philosophical belief when he challenged Critical Race Theory (CRT) in his workplace.
An Employment Tribunal has ruled that Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas) employee Sean Corby was expressing a legitimate philosophical belief when he asserted Martin Luther King Jr.'s "colourblind' approach to racism in opposition to "divisive" CRT.
Critical Race TheoryDetailing the case, the FSU wrote that in August 2021, Mr. Corby had written on a workplace equality and diversity online forum that CRT is divisive because it portrays white people as racist.
CRT, a derivative of Marxism, is a disputed ideology that sees everything through the lens of race, emphasising systemic inequalities and alleging that racial bias is deeply ingrained in all institutions. CRT advocates include "anti-racism" trainers such as Ibram X. Kendi, author of "How to Be An Antiracist," and Robin DiAngelo author of "White Fragility."
Mr. Corby argued that addressing racism in society would be better addressed by following the approach of Martin Luther King Jr., who said: "I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character."
Some of Mr. Corby's colleagues then complained to bosses that his comments "demonstrated a deep-rooted hatred towards black people," that he was "promoting racist ideas," and that they would not feel "safe to be in contact with him in person."
ACAS dismissed these complaints and instructed Mr. Corby to remove the posts on the grounds that employees had found them offensive.
Free SpeechThe FSU said that employment Judge Kirsty Ayre, presiding over the case in Leeds in a three-day hearing earlier this month, had "ruled in Corby’s favour on the basis that he had given his beliefs careful consideration and much thought."
"Employees have of course always been legally entitled to hold colour-blind 'opinions' on race and race equality – but in the wake of Mr Corby’s Employment Tribunal ruling, employers will have to consider the fact that manifesting those opinions through lawful speech and action has for the first time been granted protection under the Equality Act," wrote The Free Speech Union.
"This is a tremendous victory for free speech. Henceforth, employers will think twice before punishing any of their employees for challenging critical race theory," FSU founder Toby Young told The Epoch Times by email.
Philosophical BeliefsPhilosophical beliefs are protected from discrimination under the Equality Act 2010.
Another case that was won on such a claim was that of Maya Forstater, who lost out on a job for saying people cannot change their biological sex.
Ms Forstater successfully established a binding legal precedent that gender-critical beliefs—that sex is biological and immutable, people cannot change their sex and sex is distinct from gender-identity—are protected by the Equality Act.
An Acas spokesperson told The Epoch Times by email: "We take pride in having a diverse workforce and have noted the tribunal’s decision on one aspect of this case that is set to conclude next year."
“We value Acas staff having a voice and our regular staff surveys continue to show that Acas is an inclusive organisation,” he added.