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A UK woman has received AUD $131,000 (£74,000) for being ‘victimised’ after not being invited to her work drinks.
The 51-year-old Asper casino worker Rita Leher was left feeling ‘shunned’ after being the only employee who wasn’t invited to a cocktail bar for post-work drinks in London, according to 7 News.
The employment tribunal agreed that the exclusion was a ‘detriment at work’ as she would ‘lose the opportunity to bond with colleagues’.
Leher, who is also mixed race, claimed the victimisation was due to her age and ethnicity.
Employment Judge Sarah Moor said that the tribunal sided with her, 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.
"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.”
It was also found that the casino worker was discriminated against after being denied training courses, which were granted to younger employees, despite Leher working at the casino for more than 10 years.
Leher also tried to apply for higher roles in the company but was rejected even after being as the company’s longest-serving cashier.
After she raised the issue of discrimination in the workplace, Leher began feeling segregated from the rest of her Asper employees.
She was also warned that she would be subjected to disciplinary proceedings if she made any further allegations without presenting evidence.
“We all conclude that this exclusion was because she had complained of discrimination,” Moor said.
“While working relationships were relatively amicable, the team did not wish to socialise with someone who had complained of discrimination.
“This was a way to make their displeasure over the complaint felt.”
It was also noted that after she had been uninvited to work drinks, Leher took a period of stress leave to help cope with the exclusion.
Hopefully, she can use her compensation on a few relaxing massages after facing off with the cool kids at work.
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