Mom wins $250K after boss refuses to let her leave early to pick up her daughter
London sales manager has been awarded nearly £185,000 (about $250k) after her boss didn’t let her leave early to pick up her child from the nursery.
- Estate agent Alise Thompson has won £185k after suing her boss for not letting her work part-time, so she could pick her daughter up from childcare.
- The panel heard that Thompson’s employer has been discriminating her ever since she told him she was pregnant three years ago.
- At the time in 2018, when she attempted to confront him, he told her she was being emotional because she was pregnant.
Alice Thompson is a London estate agent, who only wanted to have enough time to be able to pick up her daughter from childcare. Unfortunately, her boss didn’t allow her to work four days instead of five and leave at 5:00 pm instead of 6:00 pm, claiming the business couldn’t afford for her to go part-time.
However, Thompson didn’t leave the uncomfortable situation there. After realizing Manors’ director Paul Sellar would not grant her the right to work part-time, she took the entire agency to an employment tribunal claiming sex discrimination.
As Daily Mail reports, the sales manager wanted to make sure her daughter does not go through “the same experience” when she is older.
Following a panel’s ruling that making her work until 6:00 pm – the same time nurseries close, puts her at a “disadvantage,” Thompson has been awarded £184,961.32 as compensation.
According to the hearing, the relationship between Thompson and Sellar began to deteriorate in 2018, when she told him she was pregnant. Apparently, her pregnancy was bad for the business in the director’s mind, as he was heard saying to a colleague:
“I thought, for f***’s sake, why is she pregnant when we are doing so well? I was warned about employing a married woman of her age.”
The tribunal heard of other cases revealing Sellar’s views about Thompson’s motherhood, including one where he didn’t pay her commission for deals she had worked on only because they were completed while she was on maternity leave.
When the estate agent tried to address her concerns, her boss told her she was being emotional because she was pregnant.
Besides, two other female administrative staff members had gone on maternity leave and had returned to part-time hours in the past. Therefore, Thompson had a right to complain about not being allowed to leave earlier so she could pick her daughter up from childcare.
The mom filed a complaint which included the rejection of her request to work flexibly and finally resigned in December 2019.
According to the hearing, Thompson has struggled to find a job since quitting Manors. Despite her confrontation with the director, she said she was “devastated” leaving the company because of the strong bonds she had with her clients and her coworkers.
Fortunately, Employment Judge Sarah Jane Goodman ruled in the mom’s favor, agreeing Sellar has been discriminating her for her roles as a woman and as a mother. The panel stated:
“Losing a job unexpectedly is always a cause of unhappiness, shock, and sometimes anger, as shown by the way many employees react to redundancy, even when there has been proper consultation, and even when it is never suggested their performance was not good enough.
Here, Mrs Thompson resented that flexible working appeared not to be considered properly (as in our finding it was not), and felt that this was an injustice because of her sex, which it was.”
The statement continued:
“Most mothers find they have difficult feelings returning to work after maternity even when it is a return to a familiar job. Mrs Thompson’s turmoil will have been worse because she had to start from scratch finding a job at all.
Her lack of success will have led a to a sense of failure. She said… that she was bringing the claim so that her daughter did not have the same experience.
The nursery closing at 6pm aligns with standard office hours, and a requirement to work until 6pm each day did place her at a disadvantage, as she would not be able to get there in time. As for four day working, we do not know if that was wanted because of the long commute (up to 2 hours per day) or the cost of nursery care, but all told we accept that the requirement did put her at a disadvantage.”