A 75-year-old woman won a labor court on age and disability discrimination after she was asked if she wanted to quit her job at Asda.
Joan Hutchinson, who has been with Asda for 20 years, quit after she said her manager made her feel like she was “pushed out of business” and “too old to be there,” reports The mirror.
The tribunal heard that staff became concerned about Ms. Hutchinson after she slowed down at work, became “nervous” and lost her personal belongings.
She once walked to work because she couldn’t remember where the bus stop was.
She refused to speak to the supermarket’s occupational health department or let managers speak to her family.
Ms. Hutchinson had to isolate herself last year, and her boss, who made purchases for her while she was being shielded, asked her if she wanted to retire, which she found annoyed.
When she returned to work, a colleague “violated her dignity” by searching her bag to help when she could not find her keys and bus card.
The shop worker resigned and took the retail giant to court, where she enforced age and disability discrimination and informal dismissal lawsuits.
The hearing was told that Ms. Hutchinson’s son noticed signs of dementia in 2017 and was diagnosed with dementia in 2020.
The supermarket has changed its opening times so that she doesn’t have to drive in the dark, the court heard.
Joanne Clitherow, Hutchinson’s daughter, told the tribunal her mother was asked twice during a phone call about the lockdown if she wanted to withdraw.
Her mother said ‘no’ and was upset because she felt they didn’t want her at Asda anymore.
Managers told the tribunal that it was Hutchinson who initiated the matter as she was afraid of going back to work.
However, the court found that it was the manager who raised the possibility of retirement “more than once”.
“That may have been said well-meaning, but nonetheless we find that it was said,” said the tribunal.
An Asda spokesperson said: “Asda is an inclusive employer that prides itself on employing colleagues of all ages. We apologize to Ms. Hutchinson for her experience. “