Woman wins case at employment tribunal over verbal abuse

Pamela Warman, a former administrative worker at an Aberdeen plumbing firm, has been awarded £2,335 after an employment tribunal found that she had been verbally abused by her employer.

The case centres on an incident which allegedly occurred last February, following an exchange between Ms Warman and a customer. Ms Warman claims that the branch manager, Colin Tait, spoke to her in an aggressive manner in front of customers. She claims that when trying to explain her actions in relation to the aforementioned customer transaction, Mr Tait told her to “f**king sit down and shut up”. Ms Warman, who is 5ft in height, also claimed that Mr Tait called her “short arse” on occasion.

Ms Warman says that as a result of this exchange, she experienced emotional distress to the point that she felt compelled to hand in her notice.

At the employment tribunal, she alleged unfair dismissal due to verbal abuse and humiliation whilst at work. Her employers, City Plumbing Supplies, denied giving Ms Warman any cause to resign.

This case shows how costly the actions of just one or two employees can be for an organisation, which is why many take out professional insurance policies to cover the legal costs arising from employee disputes.

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