A former cashier at a casino has been awarded nearly £75,000 in compensation after her work colleagues were found to have victimised her by not inviting her for drinks.
Rita Leher, 51, said she felt 'shunned' when she became the only person not invited to bar and restaurant Las Iguanas when staff members from Aspers casino in Stratford, east London went out together.
Employees are said to have 'insensitively' discussed the event in front of Leher, who is of mixed Black African heritage and who also made claims of unfair dismissal, race and age discrimination.
Leher began working at the casino in 2011 and claimed she had seen many of her younger colleagues who were not were Black or mixed heritage promoted over the years.
Meanwhile, she said she had been repeatedly rejected or ignored after applying for higher positions despite having 22 years' previous experience in the ‘gaming industry', working as a dealer in ‘high-end’ London casinos and as a betting shop manager.
Leher was signed off work in August 2018 due to stress and began a phased return to work in November 2021, which was when she felt she was being 'ignored' by colleagues.
The panel concluded Leher had not been invited to the work event because colleagues 'did not wish to socialise with someone who had complained of discrimination', saying: "She was the only one in the room not included. We all agree it was at the very least insensitive to discuss the arrangements in front of her when she was not invited."
Employment Judge Sarah Moor ruled the deliberate exclusion of a colleague from work drinks amounts to victimisation, saying: "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."
In the ruling, cited by The Telegraph, Judge Moor continued: "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. We unanimously agree that this was because Ms Leher had complained about victimisation."
Leher, who has since left Aspers casino, was awarded a total of £74,113.65 in compensation for injury to feelings and loss of overtime.
The casino is the second-biggest casino in Britain and employs around 560 staff.
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