Ms Roberts was 18 years old. She was employed as a Saturday employee at Cash Zone before being promoted to Store Supervisor (a full time position). Ms Roberts had no work experience other than at Cash Zone. She was provided with a training manual so that she could become more competent.
Ms Roberts’s direct line manager was Ms Peters. Ms Peters was not tolerant with the Ms Roberts’s shortcomings and referred to her as “a kid”, “stroppy kid” and “stroppy little teenager”. As a result of Ms Roberts’s shortcomings, she was eventually dismissed.
Ms Roberts brought age discrimination claims in relation to her dismissal from Cash Zone and her treatment during her employment. Specifically, she claimed that the language used by Mrs Peters was age-related harassment.
The Employment Tribunal upheld Ms Roberts’s claim of age harassment, but rejected her age discrimination claim relating to her dismissal. The Employment Tribunal held that the language used by Ms Peters constituted harassment on grounds of age.
The Employment Tribunal commented that it was perhaps counter intuitive to award compensation for use of the word “teenager” – it was factually accurate as Ms Roberts was 18 years old. But the Employment Tribunal held that words may have multiple usages. The word “teenager” was used in a derogatory way by Ms Peters rather than an explanatory way. The same was true in relation to use of the word “kid”.
Ms Roberts also made a general complaint that she was given inadequate training because of her age, but this was rejected by the Employment Tribunal.
The Employment Tribunal therefore awarded Ms Roberts £2,000 for injury to feelings and interest of £14.76.
Ms R Roberts v (1) Cash Zone (Camberley Ltd); (2) Mr J Cullen, Reading Employment Tribunal, case number 2701804/2012