A casino worker has been awarded more than £74,000 in compensation as she was left feeling “shunned by colleagues” after being left out of a work drinks evening.
A tribunal has ruled that 51-year-old casino cashier Rita Leher was victimised by colleagues when they excluded her from a work night out.
Leher was reportedly the only colleague from Aspers Casino in Stratford not invited to have drinks at a Las Iguanas venue, and other cashiers “insensitively” discussed the prospect of the work drinks in front of her.
Ms Leher was not invited to the work drinks event because she had previously raised a discrimination complaint against a fellow employee, the tribunal said.
The tribunal judge ruled that deliberately leaving a colleague out of work drinks amounted to victimisation and is a “detriment at work”, since the aggrieved party “lose[s] the opportunity to bond with colleagues”.
Ms Leher, who no longer works at Aspers Casino, won £74,113 from an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal, victimisation, age and race discrimination in the workplace.
In the ruling, Judge Sarah 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.”
The tribunal also found that the 51-year-old was victimised by another member of staff at the casino, who allegedly threatened her with disciplinary action if she made additional discrimination complaints “with insufficient evidence”.