A cashier has been awarded £75,000 after an employment tribunal found she was ‘victimized’ by colleagues when they failed to invite her to work drinks.
Rita Leher, 51, said she felt “shunned” by her colleagues at Aspers Casino at the Stratford Westfield Center because she was the only person not invited to Las Iguanas.
Fellow cashiers ‘insensitively’ staged the social event in front of her, which a judge ruled amounted to victimization.
Excluding an employee is a “harm to the job” because they “lose the opportunity to bond with colleagues,” labor judge Sarah Moor said in her ruling.
Ms Leher, who is of mixed black African descent, has also won claims of unfair dismissal, racial and age discrimination.
She had 22 years of experience in the ‘gambling industry’ when she started working at the ‘super casino’ in east London in November 2011, including as a croupier in the ‘high end’ casinos of London and as manager of a betting shop.
She was initially paid £23,500 a year – more than any other cashier – due to her experience, and was the casino’s longest-serving cashier at the time of her resignation.
The court heard she had seen “many” cashiers promoted over the years, all younger and not black or mixed race.
She had been repeatedly rejected or even ignored after applying for higher positions within the company.
This grievance was denied and she was fired in August 2018 due to stress.
In November, she began a gradual return to work but was ‘shunned’ and ‘ignored’ by co-workers at checkout, who created an ‘uncomfortable’ atmosphere.
Her colleagues discussed the prospect of going to the Latin American restaurant for drinks the following month, but Ms Leher was not invited, the court heard.
A court report said: “She was the only one in the room not included.
“We all agree that it was insensitive to say the least to discuss the arrangements in front of her when she was not invited.
“We all conclude that this exclusion was due to the fact that she had complained of discrimination.
“While the working relationship was relatively friendly, the team did not want to socialize with anyone who had complained of discrimination.
“It was a way of making their displeasure with the complaint felt.”
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