Before we begin here is a joke about cake. What do you call a women with a cake on her head? Victoria (cue slow clap, I’ll get my coat).
An employee at Harrods was dismissed for theft after eating a £7.50 slice of cake. A customer had sent it back for being too dry and the employee also ate a slice of fresh cake as a comparator. Whilst it does seem harsh to dismiss an employee for eating a cake that would have been disposed of anyway what worries us more is that someone purchased a single slice for £7.50! And it was dry!
The employee brought claims of race, sex and age discrimination against Harrods due to an alleged Female Lithuanian Mafia that ran the kitchens. However the claims were dismissed as there was no evidence to substantiate the claims and the employee did not highlight these issues in the disciplinary procedure. In other words his case was wafer thin…..
Despite not being a conventional Case of the Week there is a lesson for employers. When an employee with less than two years’ service brings a discrimination claim for every protected characteristic they could fall into it is quite possible that they are simply clutching at straws or taking the biscuit…..