What happens after work is none of the boss’s business, but in the case of Rita Leher, 51, things are a little different. A former employee of Aspers Casino in London, Leher has successfully won an employment tribunal in which she alleges that her former colleagues and bosses did purposefully discriminate against her for an after-work gathering that took place almost ten years ago.
Leher Only Person Not Invited to Social Gathering
Working as a cashier for the casino at the time she found that a worker had organized an off-hours happy hour, but that she wasn’t invited. In fact, she was the only person to not be invited to the gathering.
She cited her mixed-race origin, mostly African heritage, as the reason to be left out of the gathering. Following a decade, Judge Sarah Moor finally ruled in favor of Leher that she had been wrongfully discriminated against. In delivering her final judgment at an employment tribunal, Moor said:
“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.”Judge Sarah Moor
The occasion, argued Moor, provided a perfect opportunity for team members to bond, but Leher had been denied this opportunity. Part of Leher’s success in the case is the alleged poor behavior of an on-site manager at the casino.
Higher-ups Threaten Victim to Keep Quiet
Leher was supposedly threatened by a higher-up that raising further concerns would “cost her.” The plaintiff did not back down, though, and sought her rights in a court of law which resulted in the successful ruling.
The settlement is an important victory for Leher, but also for the casino industry, too, as it would create the conditions for more sensitive training and encourage workers to be open to their colleagues, regardless of their heritage or background. Aspers Group is one of the biggest casino employers in the United Kingdom. It owns four properties and it is set to be acquired by Blackstone Group.