We all know how it feels to be "left out," whether it's an invite to the dance back in middle school or an after-work happy hour at your job. Usually, there's not much one can do in this situation. However, one British woman who worked at a Ford dealership made over $32,000 for being excluded from "Pizza Fridays."
Excluded from Pizza Fridays? You Can Sue.
Single mother Malgorzata Lewicka was working as a telephone receptionist and service advisor at Hartwell, a Ford dealership. From the beginning, she was having issues with her hours, pay, and sexual discrimination by her manager. To combat this, she submitted formal complaints in March 2018 about her manager and the issues she was experiencing.
In response, her manager was reprimanded, and Lewicka was sent to a different company branch in Watford. However, her workplace troubles weren't over. After being sent to a new placement, her coworkers began ostracizing her, and she was eventually fired from the company in January 2019.
Although her coworkers excluded her in many subtle ways, one of the most obvious was during the "Pizza Fridays" that the company celebrated every month. On the last Friday of every month, the office would order takeout from a pizzeria, but Lewicka was never included. Lewicka said that at her previous branch in Hartwell, she was included when the manager took lunch orders, asking whether employees prefer pepperoni, veggies, or cheese pizza to enjoy together.
However, when she moved to Watford, she wasn't asked if she wanted to order or participate when other colleagues were. The judge says "she could have been asked if she wanted to join in."
A Reward Worth More Than Pizza
In response to this accusation, Hartwell reportedly said that Lewicka was excluded because she finished work at 1 p.m. As for firing her, their reason was that they wanted to make her position full-time, which she was unable to do.
The judge dismissed these reasons, stating that "[Miss Lewicka] as a single woman with child care commitments has suffered a disadvantage from [Hartwell's] requirement that Service Advisors work full-time namely she was selected for redundancy and dismissed."
As compensation for her loss of earnings and injury to feelings, Lewicka was awarded £23,079, which is about $32,580. I don't know about you, but I'll take that over a pizza any day.