Primark has been fined £47,000 after a transgender member of staff was discriminated against by her shop floor colleagues and supervisors.
Alexandra de Souza E Souza suffered verbal abuse at the hands of colleagues, who told her she “smelled like a men’s toilet” and had a “man’s voice”.
De Souza worked at Primark’s Marble Arch store from September 2, 2016 until her resignation on February 25, 2017.
One key member of staff told de Souza that she would pray for her because she had “evil inside her”.
London Central Employment Tribunal allowed De Souza’s harassment claim and found that Primark was responsible for “very severe” injury to de Souza’s feelings and that she was “bullied out of a job”.
Judge Lewis ruled de Souza had been constructively dismissed, subjected to gender reassignment discrimination and that her treatment at work had violated her dignity and created an “intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive” environment.
Gender reassignment is a protected characteristic under the Equality Act 2010.
The value retailer was found to have failed to properly address the discrimination and harassment suffered by de Souza on multiple occasions.
De Souza was awarded £47,433 in compensation, including £25,000 for injury to feelings.
A Primark spokesperson said: “Primark is an equal opportunities employer and we do not tolerate discrimination of any kind. All policies relating to our people are based on fair treatment for all, to ensure the promotion and practice of equality of opportunity.
“We are extremely disappointed that, on this occasion, our usual high standards in implementing these policies were not met and we sincerely apologise to the employee in question for this.
“We remain fully committed to equal opportunities and are reviewing our internal policies and training to ensure similar issues do not arise in the future.”