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APOLOGY FOR BULLY VICTIM WENDY; Store pledges 'thorough case review'.

Byline: Jon Griffin BUSINESS EDITOR

HIGH Street store chain Argos has made a belated apology over its treatment of Birmingham bullying victim Wendy MacDonald - and promised a detailed inquiry.

The nationwide retailer issued a statement of regret days after the Birmingham Mail revealed that Ms MacDonald had won her fight for constructive dismissal following a campaign of harassment.

Firm's grievance My boss at Argos was severely criticised by Judge Lorna Findlay at a Birmingham Employment Tribunal following evidence that the 40-year-old mother of two had been singled out by manager Katrina Riley. singled me out for bullying harassment By Jon Griffin BUSINESS EDITOR AN ARGOS worker who resigned following a campaign of bullying has won a case for unfair dismissal - with the firm's grievance procedures slammed as a 'debacle' and a 'sham'. who has been signed off depression and anxiety last year, had rejected offer with clause from Argos of eventually won a rare unfair constructive was awarded the lesser PS5,714 compensation.

The High Street retailer was rebuked by Judge Lorna Findlay at an Employment Tribunal following evidence that Wendy Macdonald had been singled out by manager Her barrister, Graham Citadel Chambers in said in a note of the claim was that you had and harassed by The group initially said it was 'inappropriate' to comment on Ms McDonald's Flash back: story on treatment but said in a new statement: "We are sorry that Ms MacDonald's grievances were not properly investigated at the preliminary stages.

"We refute the allegations of bullying and have a very strict policy on respect in the workplace.

"We made every effort to rectify the investigation in subsequent meetings. However, Ms MacDonald made the decision to leave the company and claim constructive dismissal. We will do a thorough case review to ensure we identify any learnings and address any issues. We have no further comment to add."

Ms MacDonald, 40, signed off work with depression and anxiety since leaving last year, originally rejected a compensation offer with a gagging clause from Argos of PS7,500.

procedure is 'a sham' Dismissed: Wendy McDonald, who has won her tribunal case against Argos. She eventually won a victory for unfair constructive dismissal but was awarded the lesser sum of PS5,714 compensation.

and Her barrister Graham Russell of Citadel Chambers in Birmingham described grievance procedures in the case as a 'debacle' and a 'sham.' work with since leaving a compensation a gagging PS7,500. She victory for dismissal - and sum of Russell of Birmingham, hearing: "Your been bullied your former your grievance properly. In a strongly-worded judgment, the learned employment judge held that any reasonable observer witnessing your manager's behaviour towards you would have concluded that she suspected you of being a thief, that she has singled you out, and that she had treated you oppressively. "Furthermore, the Judge referred to the first-stage grievance procedure which followed as a 'debacle,' the outcome letter of which was a Our Tuesday. But Ms MacDonald who worked for Argos at its Chelmsley Wood store for three years, said: "Argos cannot be trusted to investigate themselves.

"The Judge found them guilty on all counts but they chose to keep covering up the evidence and stitch me up with false allegations, protecting the perpetrator of the bullying.

"If they refute the bullying why are they not appealing against the decision? Instead they choose to ignore the judgment and put the bully back into the store."
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 6, 2012
Words:572
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