An ex-receptionist, who was working at a car dealership in the UK, recently got a 23,000 euros (Rs 20,50,699) compensation for being deliberately and regularly excluded from office pizza parties. Office parties are a common culture across the world and it was a usual occurrence at this Ford dealership called ‘Hartwell’ where Malgorzata Lewicka worked. The staff was asked for their takeaway orders for the small office parties and it would range from burgers to pizzas and other usual snacks. However, Lewicka was deliberately victimized and left out of these parties by the staffer.
She said that she was left out of these social gatherings and parties in events that unravelled after she accused staff members of sexual discrimination.
In 2018, she filed a complaint about her pay, working hours and allegations of sexual discrimination. Following the investigation, the tribunal stated that the staff members had committed this misconduct and gave a written warning.
Since the tribunals warning, the woman wasn’t treated well. Her phone calls would be ignored and other staff members would not speak to her and she was deliberately left out of the office parties that happened every Friday. Then in January 2019, she was made redundant after the company informed her that the work she did would have to be done full time.
Lewicka worked for Hartwell in Watford from May 2014 but was moved to the company’s site in Hemel Hempstead while the Watford dealership underwent a rebuild between November 2016 and April 2018.
According toDaily Mail, the company, however, tried defending itself stating the woman was only working part-time and she worked got finished at 1 PM but it was dismissed by the judge hearing the case.
The employment judge named Jennifer Bartlett ruled that the behaviour the woman was subjected to was discriminatory. The judge accepted that these lunches may have been ad hoc informal but Lewicka gave enough evidence to prove that at Hemel branch she was included in these parties but when she moved back to Watford, she was again left out.
The court awarded 23, 079 Euro compensation to Miss Lewicka for injury to feelings and loss of earning.