Ms Michalak was a dedicated physician with a promising career ahead of her. Until she went on maternity leave from her job as consultant on the medical admissions ward at Pontefract General Infirmary. An Employment Tribunal has found that after her return from maternity leave her colleagues began a secret campaign of harassment and spurious allegations with the sole purpose of having her ousted from her job. It seems that they were initially resentful of the extra work they had to shoulder as a result of her maternity leave and this escalated to a campaign of bullying by very senior staff. The Employment Tribunal clearly took a very dim view of the actions of the senior management team and Dr Michalak was awarded a record sum (for a public sector case) of almost £4.5 million. The vast majority of the settlement sum reflects the damage the campaign of bullying and harassment has had on her career and future earning ability. However, these levels of compensation are very much the exception, Ms Michalak is reported to be suffering from chronic traumatic stress disorder and her health is said to be so effected that she will never work as a doctor again. She must also have produced compelling medical evidence to show that it was the Trust’s actions which caused this injury to her health.
The Tribunal concluded “”we are positively outraged at the way this employer has behaved. The claimant has lost her role and status. She is never going to return to work as a doctor, a profession which she cherished together with the status that brings with it.”
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