A woman who felt victimised after being accused by her boss of faking anxiety and depression to get a big pay-out has been awarded £8,000 compensation.
The case involved Melanie James who started working for Capital Care Service in 2016 as a credit controller. She signed off work sick in March 2017 and was diagnosed with symptoms of anxiety and depression.
As part of her treatment, she began to see a clinical counsellor, Mr Moody. During this period, she withdrew from friends and family, was tearful and found even simple tasks to be difficult.
She gave permission for her manager, Mr Ali, to speak to Mr Moody about her case. During a telephone conversation, Mr Ali suggested that she might be faking her symptoms to receive a substantial pay out.
When Mr Moody told Ms James what was said, she had a sustained and debilitating panic attack, crying inconsolably and needing assistance with breathing exercises.
She told the Employment Tribunal that she was deeply insulted by Mr Ali’s suggestion that she was a liar. His comments had aggravated her condition and she became unable to leave her home.
The tribunal upheld her claim for victimisation. It found that Mr Ali’s words had a profoundly exacerbating effect on her feelings of depression and anxiety. She was a vulnerable person and the words were particularly wounding and detrimental to her.
She was awarded £8,000 to reflect the hurt, distress and exacerbation of symptoms that she suffered.
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