Sex discrimination award

A Tesco worker who was ridiculed after being trapped in a room by his pregnant female boss and was later dismissed has been awarded £47,690.61 in compensation for sex discrimination. The claimant was 6ft and ‘vulnerable’ having suffered from PTSD after being ‘held hostage’ while working for the Prison Service, and Tesco managers knew about his condition.  He told an employment tribunal how his 5ft 4inches pregnant manager “falsely imprisoned” him in a room at work during a discussion about overtime hours. She put her “foot against the door” and placed her hand on his arm to prevent him from leaving the room. The tribunal said that CCTV photos showed the claimant to be “increasingly anxious and borderline desperate to get out of the room”. He was then mocked by more Tesco managers who said, “a big man” could not be frightened by a “little pregnant woman”.

Having complained the incident had caused him to relapse and meant he could not leave home; he was dismissed for arriving late to work repeatedly. The tribunal ruled that he was the victim of sex discrimination because his managers refused to take his complaint seriously due to the difference in size between himself and the manager involved.

The Employment Tribunal Judge said a female employee in the same situation would not have been dismissed. The judge also concluded: “There was no gross misconduct such as to justify a summary dismissal.”

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