Cashier excluded from work drinks event awarded £74,000

A woman who was shunned by her work colleagues and not invited to a drinks event has been awarded £74,000 compensation for unfair dismissal, and race and age discrimination.

The case involved Rita Leher, 51, who had started working as a cashier at Aspers casino in November 2011.

As her time at the casino went by, Leher, who is of African heritage, saw many colleagues receiving promotions within the company, but none were of black or mixed heritage.

All the promoted colleagues were also younger than her.

Leher had applied for higher positions within the company during this time but was always ignored or rejected.

She became frustrated with the lack of progress she was making.

She felt she was being discriminated against but didn’t receive any support from her colleagues. Instead, she found herself becoming more isolated.

Leher’s colleagues organised a work drinks event but didn’t invite her even though they would openly discuss it in front of her.

As the situation continued to worsen, Leher left the company and brought a claim of unfair dismissal and race and age discrimination.

The Employment Tribunal ruled in her favour.

Judge Moor said: "We unanimously agree that being excluded from discussions at work about a social occasion amongst colleagues when one would normally be included would subject an employee to a detriment at work. 

“A reasonable employee would consider that such exclusion was to their disadvantage because they had lost the opportunity to bond with colleagues on that social occasion. 

“The occasion was sufficiently linked to work by the fact that it was amongst work colleagues and was discussed about at work and would provide the opportunity for team bonding. 

“We unanimously agree that this was because Ms Leher had complained about victimisation.”

Leher was awarded £74,113.65 for injury to feelings and loss of overtime.

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