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A UK cashier has been awarded £74,000 ($144,000) after she complained that her colleagues’ failure to invite her to work drinks left her “victimised”.
Rita Leher, 51, said she was “shunned” by colleagues at a London casino after they all went out to bond at a cocktail bar – and didn’t invite her along.
Employment Judge Sarah Moor said the exclusion was a “detriment at work” because Leher lost “the opportunity to bond with colleagues”.
“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,” Moor said in her decision.
The cocktail party was not the only issue before the tribunal, with Leher also claiming she was victimised as a result of a discrimination complaint she had made against another employee.
The tribunal agreed.
Leher also won claims of race and age discrimination and unfair dismissal.
Leher, who is of mixed black African heritage, said younger colleagues, none of whom were black or mixed race, were promoted ahead of her.
She put her hand up for training, but all her requests for higher roles were rejected or ignored.
Then, after returning from stress leave, Leher she was “shunned” by her colleagues when they discussed party plans in front of her without inviting her.
“We all conclude that this exclusion was because she had complained of discrimination,” Moor said.
“While working relationships were relatively amicable, the team did not wish to socialise with someone who had complained of discrimination.
“This was a way to make their displeasure over the complaint felt.”