Updated: May 13, 2021 10:43:58 am
A former car dealership receptionist was awarded £23,000 (around $32,000) compensation by a tribunal after she was not included in her office pizza parties. The tribunal described her experience as a “campaign of victimization” and said that she was deliberately excluded from “Pizza Fridays”.
According to several reports, the employment tribunal ruled in favour of Malgorzata Lewicka, who worked at the car dealership before being laid off in January 2019.
Managers at Hartwell, a Ford car dealership in Watford, UK, would conduct office parties where each staff member was asked to pick a takeaway food they would like to order every month, and this included pizza or other fast food options.
However, Lewicka told the tribunal that she was not asked what she would like to eat, denying her participation in the party.
Lewicka also told the hearing that her colleagues started excluding her after she accused one of the staff members of sexual discrimination back in March 2018. She had complained about her working hours and pay, and her colleagues were subjected to investigation.
After finding evidence of gross misconduct, the colleague was given a written final warning. It was after this incident that Lewicka was not invited to the company-wide lunch which took place on the last Friday of every month.
While Hartwell claimed Lewicka hadn’t been involved because she worked part-time and finished her day at 1 pm, the tribunal ruled that this wasn’t an excuse.
According to The Sun, Lewicka was working at Hartwell’s Watford dealership but was moved to Hemel Hempstead while the Watford branch underwent a rebuild.
The receptionist reportedly submitted ample evidence proving that at the Hemel dealership, a manager went around the site taking lunch orders and that she was included.
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