Women's Health

BMW assembly worker fired for going for food at Burger King wins £16,000 payout

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A BMW assembly worker has won £16,000 after being fired for going to Burger King for lunch, an employment tribunal has heard.

Ryan Parkinson ‘disappeared’ for around an hour on an overtime shift at a BMW factory in Oxford before returning with food from the restaurant.

On his return, he was blamed for not telling anyone – which he disputed – and was the subject of a disciplinary investigation where he was sacked.

His initial dismissal was revoked following an appeal, but Mr Parkinson was fired a second time when he left the site to collect sandwiches from his car.

A BMW assembly worker has won £16,000 after being fired for going to Burger King for lunch, an employment tribunal has heard.  Pictured: BMW factory in Oxford

A BMW assembly worker has won £16,000 after being fired for going to Burger King for lunch, an employment tribunal has heard. Pictured: BMW factory in Oxford

Following an employment tribunal, he was awarded £16,916 in compensation and unpaid wages.

It is understood that in June 2018 Mr Parkinson’s supervisor submitted a report claiming he was ‘absent from site’ during an extra Sunday evening shift at the BMW factory where he worked at Oxford.

According to the report submitted by his supervisor, Mr Parker was reported missing at 7:50 p.m., before returning around 8:45 p.m. with food from Burger King.

The report claimed he didn’t ask permission or notice anyone on his team leaving.

The supervisor alleged in the report that he searched restrooms and smoking areas to ensure he was not in the building in the event of a fire alarm.

After being confronted, the supervisor noted that Ryan “was upset” and “decided he didn’t want to be here anymore” and returned home at 9:45 p.m.

Three days after the incident, Mr Parkinson was questioned by bosses and said the fitting crew had completed a particular job and had therefore started discussing food.

He said: ‘Everyone wanted a kebab, and I said I wanted a Burger King. My [co-workers] were talking about what they were going to get.

‘I said I was going to buy a Burger King. I got on a scooter and went to get a Burger King and sat in my car until half past one.

According to the report submitted by his supervisor, Mr Parker was reported missing at 7:50 p.m., before returning around 8:45 p.m. with food from Burger King.

According to the report submitted by his supervisor, Mr Parker was reported missing at 7:50 p.m., before returning around 8:45 p.m. with food from Burger King.

According to the report submitted by his supervisor, Mr Parker was reported missing at 7:50 p.m., before returning around 8:45 p.m. with food from Burger King.

‘I rang [a colleague] at 8:23 p.m. and 8:28 p.m. to ask what was going on. He replied that they made us work during the break because the kebab hadn’t arrived yet.

Mr Parkinson said that after a phone call with his colleague, he picked up what was left of Burger King and walked in to look for everyone.

‘To say 8.38 [my supervisor] asked where I had been, and he had looked for me. I said I took my break and went to get Burger King.

“He said I should have warned someone, and I said I did. I went back to work and left after an hour, but I wasn’t happy because another guy had been missing for over an hour and no one came to pick him up,” he reportedly said.

On August 23, Mr. Parkinson was terminated due to work stress and anxiety until February 2019.

A disciplinary hearing took place in May 2019 and he was sacked, but after appealing he was replaced with a final written warning because sacking him was “pretty harsh”.

However, upon returning to work, he was immediately suspended for a further allegation of leaving the site without permission while retrieving sandwiches from his car.

Mr Parkinson filed a grievance, complaining that the suspension was a ‘backlash and backlash’ and ‘vindictive and baseless’.

In November, he was fired a second time by the agency that employed him for gross misconduct for again leaving the site without permission, and he took his employers to court.

Reading District Court heard Mr Parkinson had worked for GI Group, a recruitment agency, since January 2014.

Mr Parkinson also alleged that an official at BMW assaulted him in October 2017, the court heard.

Mr Parkinson said: ‘My manager punched me in the chest because I filed a grievance against the woman [for] racial discrimination because she just started working at BMW and started making my life a misery always looking for ways to get me in trouble.

However, his grievances were dismissed, the hearing was told.

Mr Parkinson, who is black and of African descent, also alleged direct racial discrimination, race-related harassment and victimization – but these elements of his case were dismissed.

While they found him work, he claimed that a BMW employee – who was a client of the GI group – racially discriminated against him because she “had problems with black people”.

Labor judge Stephen Vowles said: ‘[GI Group] did not investigate the claims of [Mr Parkinson] and its union representatives that this was a widespread practice practiced during breaks by dozens of other employees.

“There was no evidence of a procedure in place by [GI Group] to obtain permission to leave the site or to notify a supervisor of leaving the site or recording such permission or notification.

“Leaving a turnstile-secured area for a few minutes to visit a car in the company parking lot when, it appears, many other employees did the exact same thing, despite not having done so. object of an investigation by [GI Group]did not constitute serious misconduct.

“He left his workplace to go to his car to pick up his sandwiches during a break.”

All of his other claims were dismissed, with the court finding there was “no evidence” of racism.

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