Receptionist Excluded From Pizza Order At Work Sued And Won $32,000 In Lawsuit Against Former Employer
Written by Alyssa Savage on May 10, 2021
Sometimes it pays to be petty, $32,000 to be exact for a car dealership receptionist who was feeling a way when she apparently got left out during the office pizza order.
A court recently described Malgorzata Lewicka’s experience as a “campaign of victimization,” and that she had been deliberately excluded from “Pizza Fridays” at the car dealership she worked at before being laid off in January of 2019, Newsweek reports.
Managers at Hartwell, a Ford car dealership in Watford, U.K., would ask their staff which takeaway food they would like to order every month, but Lewicka told the court that she was not asked what she would like to eat.
Sis explained that “other employees were asked but she was not asked if she wanted to order food or participate.” Lewicka added that this occurred after she had accused one of the staff members of sexual discrimination back in March of 2018.
Her colleague was investigated following the complaint and Hartwell found that gross misconduct had been committed. The colleague was issued a written final warning.
That wasn’t the only issue Lewicka had with her former employer. She also complained about her working hours and pay.
After speaking out, Lewicka says she was left out of the office festivities including the company-wide lunch, which took place on the last Friday of every month.
Hartwell claimed that Lewicka was not invited to the lunches because she was a part-time worker, finishing daily at 1 p.m., but the court ruled that this was not a reasonable excuse.
Judge Jennifer Bartlett said: “We accept that the lunches may have been ad hoc and they were informal. However (Lewicka) gave clear evidence that at Hemel a manager went around the site taking lunch orders and that she was included. However when she moved to Watford she was not asked if she wanted to order or participate whereas other colleagues were…She could have been asked if she wanted to join in.”
The judges added: “We find that her exclusion was victimization which continued until around the time of her dismissal.”
It’s bigger than the pizza though, y’all. The court also heard testimony that some of Lewicka’s colleagues would not speak to her and hang up the phone if she picked up their call.
The judge ruled that she received less favorable treatment as a part-time employee because she is a single mother, and this amounted to sexual discrimination.
Lewicka was awarded the £23,079 ($32,078.31) for loss of earnings and injury to her feelings.
We can all benefit from being kinder, and if you’re not, Ms. Lewicka just taught us it might cost ya!