A Liberian British job-seeker has brought a racial discrimination suit against Virgin Atlantic claiming he was rejected for a job interview until applying in a fake “Welsh” name.
Max Kpakio, 36, of Swansea, claims racial discrimination by Sir Richard Branson’s company over a call centre role and wants £55,000 compensation for loss of earnings and injury to feelings from Virgin Atlantic.
The father-of-three, who moved with his family from Liberia to escape civil war, told an employment tribunal hearing: “The CV and the equal opportunities form clearly identified me as someone not born here, not schooled here and a black African.
“The reason I was rejected was because of my ethnic origin – because I’m black African.
“I decided to reapply under a pseudonym. I chose the Welsh name Craig Owen and filed the job application, answering three main questions very similarly to how I had answered them on my original form and was not only invited for interview but received repeated call to attend the interview.”
Mr Kpakio said money was not his motivating factor; he wanted people to be treated “fairly and in a just manner”.
At an employment tribunal hearing in Cardiff, Virgin denied discrimination and judgement was adjourned to consider a decision within 28 days.
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