Black HS2 manager sues for discrimination saying her boss was being racist trends now
A black manager at HS2 sued for discrimination after claiming her boss was being racist when using the phrase 'whiter than white'.
Sharon Goodison complained that her boss's use of the common expression was offensive because it implied 'white is good, black is bad'.
She told an employment tribunal the phrase - dating back to Shakespearean times - has had 'racial connotations throughout my life'.
Mrs Goodison even warned manager Laura Day that a police officer had been disciplined for saying it, leading to her apologising for any offence caused.
The tribunal has now dismissed the discrimination claim, ruling that Ms Day's use of the expression was not related to race but was an 'apposite' comment about HS2's behaviour.
Sharon Goodison (pictured) is suing for discrimination saying her boss was being racist when she used the phrase 'whiter than white'
Pictured is construction work at the HS2 site in West Hyde near Rickmansworth in Hertfordshire
There are two theories as to where the phrase 'whiter than white' came from.
Theory one: It is a modified phrase coined by William Shakespeare.
Shakespeare's 1593 poem Venus and Adonis tells the story of Venus, a goddess of love, and her seduction of Adonis.
The poem reads: 'Who sees this true love in her naked bed / Teaching the sheets a whiter hue than white / But, when his glutton eye so full hath fed / His other agents aim like delight?'
In this context, the phrase seems to refer to someone being pure and honest but note that the phrase has been modified slightly with time.
Theory two: It is what it says on the tin - the colour is whiter than the colour white.
The Oxford English Dictionary notes that the phrase became a popular term following the 1920s advertising slogan for Persil washing powder.
In this context, the phrase literally means that clothes or linen washed using the powder come out pristine and 'whiter than white'.
However, the company was found to have forced her out of her job by taking too long to investigate her complaints.
'Whiter than white' is believed to originate from Shakespeare's poem Venus and Adonis and over time has become defined as being pure or honest.
The Oxford English Dictionary notes that it became a popular term following the 1920s advertising slogan for Persil washing powder.