Jewish academic who says she was 'a victim of racism' unfairly sacked from Exeter University, tribunal finds

Physicist Dr Annette Plaut wins tribunal after she claims she was fired because Exeter University bosses couldn't tolerate her 'naturally loud' voice

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A senior academic has won her case after an employment tribunal found that she was unfairly fired after 30 years at Exeter University.

Physicist Dr Annette Plaut claimed that her bosses' criticism of her "naturally loud" voice was racist because she inherited it from her German parents.

Exeter university argued she was fired because of how she treated two PhD students, but Dr Annette Plaut claimed she was the victim of race and sex discrimination at the tribunal.

In its judgment, the tribunal said: “The race discrimination claim is based on her eastern European Jewish heritage, which she says gives her inherent characteristics (in the way she interacts with people) which she says were the reasons for the way she dealt with her students.

“She says that as a woman she was discriminated against as physics has long been male-dominated, and she says that a man would not have been treated so. The university says that Dr Plaut’s behaviour warranted dismissal, and that race and sex had nothing to do with it.”

Dr Annette Plaut said she was "inherently loud" and "naturally argumentative" in conversation.

The academic also admitted that she spoke with vigorous hand gestures, and could get overexcited about physics because she was so passionate about her topic.