A Tesco worker who was ridiculed after being trapped in a room by his pregnant female boss and was later sacked has been awarded £50,000 for sex discrimination.
Six-foot-tall Toby King told an employment tribunal that supervisors said “a big man” could not be frightened by a “little pregnant woman”.
The tribunal, however, ruled that he was the victim of sex discrimination because his bosses refused to take his complaint seriously due to the difference in size between Mr King and his boss, 5’5” Jo Francis. She put her “foot against the door” and placed her hand on Mr King’s arm to prevent him from leaving the room during a discussion over extra work hours, the tribunal heard.
Tesco was ordered to pay Mr King £47,690.61 in compensation.
Mr King said he was “vulnerable” as he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder, having been “held hostage” while working in the Prison Service. His bosses were aware of his condition.
He was sacked in 2018 for arriving late to work repeatedly. He said the incident with Ms Francis had caused him to relapse and meant he could not leave home.
The tribunal said that CCTV photos showed Mr King to be “increasingly anxious and borderline desperate to get out of the room”.
A female in the same situation would not have been dismissed, the judge said.