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HR advisor wins discrimination claim after being sacked over chicken nuggets row

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

In the case of Smith v Teleperformance Ltd, Steven Smith has won more than £5000 after he was sacked for complaining about only getting three chicken nuggets for lunch.

An employment tribunal heard how Steven Smith was left “shocked” and “disillusioned” at the size of the £1.99 portion he was handed at the Teleperformance office canteen. When he queried why others were getting four or five nuggets, he said he felt “antagonised” when he was told he could get three more for an extra 99p.

Mr Smith, who was suspended that day pending an investigation, was accused of having “acted aggressively” towards a female member of staff. The woman who served him the meal told the tribunal he had “forcefully” pushed the box of food away and “stormed off” leaving her “stomach churning”.

The incident was reported to the company and Mr Smith was later sacked under the grounds of gross misconduct, claiming he had acted “violently”.

However, the employment tribunal, held remotely, ruled in Mr Smith’s favour, stating: “Having carefully reflected upon this and considered the evidence led before the Tribunal I have concluded that the respondent’s investigation fell outwith the range of responses open to a reasonable employer.”

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