Tesco sued by ‘falsely imprisoned’ employee with PTSD

A Tesco worker has won a sex discrimination claim after being trapped in a room by his boss triggered a PTSD relapse.

Toby King, who is six foot tall, was “falsely imprisoned” by his five foot four line manager Jo Francis.

He was ridiculed when he complained to senior staff, who said a “big man” could not have been intimidated by a “little woman”.

According to the Metro, King is now in line for a payout after a judge ruled he was not taken seriously because of his size and sex.

READ MORE: Tesco Bank named ‘worst provider’ for 2nd year running

After being “berated” by Francis at a Tesco in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, he agreed to speak to her in the staff room.

During their meeting, King felt “uncomfortable” and started to leave, but his five-months pregnant manager stuck her foot against the door.

CCTV footage shows him squeezing himself out of the room, after becoming “increasingly anxious and borderline desperate to get out”.

As Francis and other staff knew, King had suffered from PTSD after being taken hostage while working for the Prison Service.

Another manager “dismissed” his complaint without checking the CCTV because he thought a “pregnant woman would not have behaved that way”.

King was signed off work by his doctor in February 2019 because he was unable to leave the house without crying.

He was then sacked by Tesco for failing to turn up to work.

“Ms Francis did not think Mr King would be intimidated by her or ‘would take seriously’ her actions in the room,” employment judge Judith George said.

“Her words cause us to [think] that her mindset was partly based upon his sex – upon him being a man and not simply upon them being of different sexes.”

She ruled that Tesco had not reasonably investigated Francis’ conduct or the allegations of intimidation and harassment.

Another hearing will be held to determine King’s compensation.

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