In the case of Lewicka v Hartwell Plc a telephone receptionist was awarded £22,000 in respect of injury to feelings. Lewicka was employed at the Watford dealership of Hartwell Ford. Like all other staff at the Watford site, she transferred to the Hemel Hempstead site during a period of building works. In March 2018 the claimant submitted a grievance relating to pay, working hours and the behaviour of Mr Mark Benson. The grievance process concluded with a finding that Mr Mark Benson had committed gross misconduct and had been issued with a final written warning.
Lewicka claims she was then left out of the monthly staff takeaway lunch, which took place on the last Friday of every month. She said that ‘other employees were asked but she was not asked if she wanted to order food or participate’. The tribunal also heard that her colleagues stopped speaking to her and put the phone down on her if she answered calls.
In January 2019, she was made redundant after being told her role would have to be full time. Ruling, Judge Jennifer Bartlett said this was sexual discrimination as Lewicka was a single mother and received less favourable treatment for working part time. Bartlett said Lewicka’s exclusion from ‘Pizza Friday’ was tantamount to sexual discrimination.
She added: “[Miss 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.”
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