A Polish woman, who was forced to resign from her job due to racial and sexual discrimination, has been awarded 52,382 pounds in her claim for constructive dismissal.
Marzena Urnbanska-Kopowska from Dunmurry, Northern Ireland, was employed by local company Mac’s Quality Foods as a cleaner from September 2006 until July 2008. During her period of employment, Marzena was abused, degraded and treated with contempt due to her nationality and sex.
An employment tribunal heard how a male co-worker had stripped to his underpants and pressed himself against her, and how she was frequently sworn at in Polish by her Irish manager. It was also claimed that Marzena was giving degrading tasks to do that were not given to native workers.
When Marzena tried to bring her treatment to the attention of her employers, her complaints were ignored, and eventually Marzena had to resign from her position as she could not handle the insults and harassment.
Mac’s Quality Foods denied the claims, but the employment tribunal found in favour of Marzena – awarding her 31,049 pounds for unfair dismissal, 20,000 pounds for racial discrimination and sexual harassment, and a further 1,332 pounds in interest.