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£27,000 payout for discrimination

A MUM-of-four has won a £27,000 payout from the Heckmondwike bookies where she worked after her bosses subjected her to sexual discrimination.

Michelle Spurr, 28, was victimised by her bosses at William Hills due to her pregnancy and her sex, in numerous incidents.

A tribunal heard how she was not given a permanent job because she was pregnant and the word 'bitch' was written on her pay packet.

A hearing also heard how she was sent home by one of her bosses who told her 'you look a state' when she was pregnant with her fourth child.

Ian Laycock, district operations manager, also told her 'women should be at home in the kitchen' and discussed with a colleague who the father of her baby was, it was alleged.

She gave birth to her baby, Megan, in November 2006, four weeks prematurely which Michelle, from Dewsbury, believes was due to stress.

Doctors have since discovered Michelle is suffering from a brain tumour.

She said: "I was working as a shop manager in Heckmondwike, got pregnant, told my line manager and that's when the harassment started.

"I was diagnosed with a tumour in December and the stress of all this has not helped. It's all been going on nearly two years and it's been horrible.

"It's taken over my life. I have always worked full time, all my life, and it was like saying I shouldn't be working. It's been a nightmare.

"I just feel like I keep being punished. I am innocent but it's one blow after the next.

"My symptoms have got worse, I get headaches. I am poorly but I couldn't rest because of this."

She is currently off sick from her job at Ladbrokes, in Leeds.

Michelle, whose children are aged seven, five, three and one, began working for William Hill as a customer services advisor before being promoted to deputy manager.

In January 2006 she was seconded to the Heckmondwike branch as shop manager when a vacancy came up.

The tribunal, in Leeds, found the permanent position was not offered to Michelle because she was pregnant.

But a similar position at another of the firm's branches was automatically given to a non-pregnant employee and was not advertised.

A report issued by the tribunal said this amounted to 'a breach of the duty of trust and confidence'.

It found that William Hill had discriminated against her due to her pregnancy and her sex.

A spokesman for the chain of bookies said: "We have no comment to make."