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£17,500 Compensation Awarded to Pregnant Woman Unfairly Dismissed from Vape Shop

“Sintija Gaikniece, a 25-year-old woman, has been awarded a staggering £17,500 in compensation after making a compelling claim that her termination from a vape shop was unjust due to her pregnancy,” revealed a source.

Gaikniece’s journey at VPZ in Forfar, Scotland, commenced in January 2022, but her tenure in the sales role was unceremoniously curtailed. Merely two weeks into her employment, she stumbled upon the news of her impending motherhood. Although her superiors assured her that discussions about maternity leave would transpire at a later date, Gaikniece alleges that these anticipated conversations never materialized. Instead, when she was six months pregnant, she was notified of her sudden job loss, leaving her stunned.

According to Gaikniece, her dismissal was allegedly attributed to issues surrounding her attitude and customer complaints. Expressing her dismay, she posited that the company’s reluctance to accommodate her prolonged absence during maternity leave and the associated costs were the driving forces behind her termination. Gaikniece suspected that the organization had contrived a pretext to end her employment and had already prepared a job advertisement to swiftly replace her.

Providing her version of events to the Daily Record, Gaikniece revealed the details of a probationary meeting with her superior at the end of June. It was during this discussion that her boss cited customer attitude complaints as the reason for her failure to meet the probationary standards. However, Gaikniece claims that she was not provided with any specific information regarding the alleged grievances. Consequently, she was given the choice to depart immediately, an option she readily accepted. She subsequently returned home and applied for Universal Credit.

Following her dismissal, Gaikniece took legal action against her former employer by filing an employment tribunal claim. However, the toll of this endeavor, coupled with her existing anxiety condition, exacerbated her stress levels. Financial hardships ensued as she struggled to support her newborn son, Thomas, who arrived in November while she remained unemployed.

Asserting her innocence, Gaikniece alleged that she had requested a copy of her probationary handbook, which she believed would have refuted the existence of any complaints against her. However, she claimed that the company failed to furnish her with the said handbook.

During the employment tribunal, irrefutable evidence in the form of an online job advertisement for Gaikniece’s position prior to her dismissal was presented. Consequently, VPZ was ordered to provide her with a substantial sum of £17,583.06 as compensation, encompassing £4,000 for lost earnings and £300 for notice pay.

Gaikniece expressed her immense relief following the tribunal’s ruling, proclaiming that she felt a profound sense of liberation from her burdens. Nevertheless, she yearned for VPZ to acknowledge their wrongdoing and issue an apology, given that the entire ordeal had inflicted significant anxiety upon her, hindering her ability to raise her child.

In response, a VPZ spokesperson emphasized the company’s unwavering commitment to equal opportunities and highlighted their inclusive culture, as well as their leading policies on paternity and maternity. While respecting the decision of the tribunal, VPZ has opted to challenge the ruling and, due to ongoing legal proceedings, refrained from offering further comments on the case.