Single mother wins £23,000 after being excluded from office “Pizza Fridays”

A single mother receptionist won £23,000 as a reward after she was excluded from a “Pizza Friday” order at the office.

The employment judge of the case ruled that she was deliberately left out during the occasion.

Malgorzata Lewicka, a single mother, had not been included in the informal staff lunch at Hartwell, a Ford car dealership.

In a report that was recently published, it was said that the staff would be asked for their preferred takeaway order by the managers once every month.

The staff were allowed to choose from pizza, chips, fish, or fast food.

Lewicka told the hearing that she was not asked for her order on purpose.

Everything started in March of 2018.

Lewicka submitted a complaint to the company about her pay, working hours, and sexual discrimination.

Lewicka told the tribunal that she was excluded from the monthly company lunch after she made the complaint.

She also said that other employees were asked on what they wanted to eat, but she was not.

In an excuse by the Hartwell team, they said that Lewicka was not involved because she worked part time and finished her job at 1pm.

The tribunal later ruled that this was not an excuse.

In January 2019, she was made redundant after Hartwell said her role had to be made full time.

Jennifer Bartlett, an Employment Judge, said that this was a form of sexual discrimination because Lewicka was a single mother.

She reportedly suffered disadvantage and less favourable treatment because she was a part-time member of the staff.

The single mother was moved to the site in Hemel Hempstead while the Watford branch was being rebuilt.

Not only that, but she also complained about sexual discrimination in the Hemel Hempstead Store.

Judge Bartlett ruled:

We accept that the lunches may have been ad hoc and they were informal. However [Lewicka] gave clear evidence that at Hemel a manager went around the site taking lunch orders and that she was included. However when she moved to Watford she was not asked if she wanted to order or participate whereas other colleagues were. She could have been asked if she wanted to join in.  [Lewicka] as a single woman with child care commitments has suffered a disadvantage from [Hartwell’s] requirement that Service Advisors work full-time – namely, she was selected for redundancy and dismissed.

As a result of that, the court decided to award her.

Lewicka was given £23,000 as a reward, including compensation for injury to feelings as well as loss of earnings.

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