Sacked woman wins £3k compensation despite calling colleagues a 'P***' and 'gypsy c***'

5 May 2022, 14:08 | Updated: 5 May 2022, 14:57

A woman has been awarded almost £3,000 in compensation for unfair dismissal after she used racist language towards colleagues
A woman has been awarded almost £3,000 in compensation for unfair dismissal after she used racist language towards colleagues. Picture: Google/Linkedin

By Megan Hinton

A woman has been awarded almost £3,000 in compensation for unfair dismissal after she called her colleagues "f***ing P***" and "gypsy c***".

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The judge ordered bedding company Hypnos to pay Anita Jarzyna a 'basic' award of £630 plus compensation of £2,214 after they ruled the firm took just 15 minutes to make a decision to sack her and refused an appeal hearing.

The Buckinghamshire based company received seven complaints from staff members about repeated use of racist language towards two members of staff.

The 29-year-old who had worked at Hypnos for four years, was described by one member of staff as being "mean to most people" adding "she just doesn't like anybody".

The tribunal was told Ms Jarzyna "did not get on with Mr Daniel Bowler and his girlfriend, Ms Erika Mateova".

Mr Bowler was in a higher managerial position to Ms Jarzyn whilst it is claimed she did not like Ms Mateova because she "wanted her job and this appears to have been the cause of antipathy between them".

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The tribunal was supplied statements from disgruntled members of staff who had complained about Ms Jarzyna's behaviour, one reads: "It started a couple of months ago when Anita and I were talking while I was working and I said my next job was for Erika, she said "Oh, You’re going to see that gypsy c***!”

"She's called her that to me probably four more times on different occasions since then. The last time was last Thursday. I’d heard she’d been suspended so I called her to make sure she was ok. She told me what had happened and that she’d lost her temper outside and people had heard her shouting gypsy c*** and P***.

Adding: "I asked her why she’d said what she did and she said she’s Polish and can say what she likes, it’s ok to say it in Poland so why is it not ok here? She clearly doesn’t think saying it is wrong."

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Mr Bowler raised grievances to his boss stating: "Anita referred to me as the f****** P*** Danny Bowler in conversation with the others, one of these did say you cannot say that and Anita responded with I can say what I like, I am Polish."

Whilst Ms Mateova’s reported: "On Monday 4 November 2019 it was brought to my attention from [another staff member] that Anita refers to me as the gypsy c*** and has said this on a few occasions to him."

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Despite Hypnos having a "fair reason for dismissal for gross misconduct for making racist and derogatory comments", the tribunal ruled that she should have been given the chance of appeal.

The tribunal highlighted another employee at the company was dismissed after they were caught stealing from a vending machine.

However, they were offered their previous job after an appeal and Ms Jarzyna's complained she was not offered the same opportunities to defend herself.

In conclusion, Employment Judge George Alliott said: "The claimant did use offensive and racist language both in and out of the workplace. 

"I find that there is no evidence of less favourable treatment of the claimant in her treatment during the disciplinary procedure and in her dismissal.

"In any event, I find that the treatment was not because of the claimant’s race or nationality.

"However, given the burden of proof, I cannot find that the respondent genuinely believed in the reason for dismissal in the absence of any evidence from the respondent. Accordingly, I have to find that the dismissal was unfair.

"I accept an appeal hearing is not mandatory - however, the claimant pointed to an individual who, whilst charged with an offence of theft, did apparently retain his job on appeal. The respondent has not been here to contest the issue."