19 July 2007
Mum awarded £2k compensation from laundrette
A pregnant woman whose employers sent her home when she said she could not operate heavy machinery has won £1,933 in an employment tribunal.
Gemma Peters, 23, had been employed at Tibard Laundry Services in Ashton, Greater Manchester, for a year before she fell pregnant.
Within three months of informing staff, however, she was asked to use a piece of machinery, which in the past had caused her to suffer a repetitive strain injury.
Upon refusing to operate the machine, she says she was told to go home.
Ms Peters said that over the next few months she tried unsuccessfully to return to her position.
She told the Tameside Advertiser: "I wanted to resolve the situation and get back to work as soon as possible.
"My maternity leave was due to start on 22nd December, but I was told I had not worked enough weeks prior to be entitled to it. If I'd been in work, I would've done. I had two grievance hearings but was told my grievance was unsubstantiated."
She added: "At that stage I had moved into my mum's. Family were helping with costs for the baby because we were struggling. I got a two week doctor's note for high blood pressure and another six week one for stress. Then I was asked to attend a disciplinary hearing."
The award is intended to compensate Ms Peters for loss of earnings. She is now awaiting another ruling from the court over a claim for maternity pay.