Sales manager claimed he was bullied and harassed on the job after being nicknamed “Tan FM”

Sales manager claimed he was bullied and harassed on the job after being nicknamed “Tan FM” because he spoke so much he was like a radio station

  • Tan Afsar, an executive at a large biotech company, was a talkative boss
  • This earned it the nickname ‘Tan FM’ because it was said to sound like a radio show.
  • But when he found out he was offended and quit Biogen Idec Ltd
  • He took legal action against them but they were fired

A senior sales manager was so talkative that his colleagues nicknamed him “Tan FM” because he sounded like a radio show, an employment tribunal heard.

Tan Afsar, an executive at a large biotech company, has been described as having an “ability to chat and be entertained” for extended periods of time.

The specialist medical salesperson was so talkative that his colleagues described it as “like an entertaining radio show,” it was said during a hearing.

However, after being dubbed “Tan FM” when he chatted on a 250 km drive with a colleague, Mr. Afsar said he felt “offended”.

Mr Afsar later resigned from Biogen Idec Ltd, but took legal action against the international company, claiming he had been “harassed” and “harassed”.

But, his claims were rejected by a court judge.

The Reading, Berks audience heard that Mr. Afsar worked for Biogen Idec for about eight years,

He was a Senior Regional Sales Manager based in the East of England, worked on a product treating MS and was “very knowledgeable” and experienced.

The court heard that on a return trip from a conference in Scotland in May 2017, a colleague messaged the WhatsApp working group and used the nickname when asking a colleague called Libby Winchurch how the trip was going.

Mr Afsar then resigned from Biogen Idec Ltd but took legal action against the company

A court report said: “The message read ‘How’s Tan FM Libby?’ There was a radio emoji and a “blinking face” emoji.

‘[Libby] Winchurch responded by saying “we haven’t stopped talking for the last 250 miles !!!”.

‘The phrase’ Tan FM ‘had appeared at a meeting a few weeks before the conference. It was used by a colleague who was a close friend of Mr. Afsar.

“As a regional sales team, Mr. Afsar and his colleagues spent a lot of time traveling between meetings and often shared trips or called each other to chat while traveling.

“I accept Ms. Winchurch’s testimony that the phrase was intended to express Mr. Afsar’s ability to chat and be entertained on a long trip, like an entertaining radio show.

“Mr. Afsar was included in the discussion on May 17, 2017 because he was part of the WhatsApp group.

“He didn’t comment at the time, probably because he was driving. However, he was offended by the term and told the colleague who used it first.

“Mr. Afsar’s colleague immediately responded to say he would stop using it and tell the team not to use it anymore.”

Later, during a professional training course, Mr. Afsar was appointed “charter guardian” and his colleagues referred to him by his acronym – “KOC”.

He complained that he was offended “because when you said it out loud, it sounded like you called him a ‘rooster’.”

Mr Afsar has made allegations of intimidation from Biogen Idec – but labor judge Emma Hawksworth rejected his request for a constructive dismissal because he did not officially raise the ‘Tan FM’ or ‘KOC’ remarks to its managers.

He also alleged that he had been treated unfairly due to an alleged lack of support, but the judge again dismissed those allegations.