Ocado is set to fork out £20,000 in damages after a former employee raised alarms about warehouse fire safety issues.
The company is facing allegations that the worker was forced out of his job after he said the cardboard materials and pallets blocked fire exits.
The Telegraph reported that court documents said a “witch hunt” had been pledged against the technician.
The claimant Thomas Cooley said he was muscled out of his role, being given cleaning jobs rather than his usual tasks.
He also told the tribunal that he received abusive messages on the company radio system between July and October 2020.
Cooley resigned, and the judge ruled that this amounted to constructive dismissal, ordering the online retailer to pay out £20,000.
The employment tribunal judgment stated: “As a result of this the claimant’s mental health deteriorated, he suffered anxiety, nightmares and dreaded going to work. Ultimately, he had suicidal thoughts. He resigned his position due to his mental health and underwent counselling and took medication to assist him.
The retailer has argued that the case should be reconsidered because it said it had not received the paperwork about the case.
A spokesman for Ocado told the paper: “We did not receive notification of this claim at the time. As such, we are currently investigating and have applied for reconsideration. We await this decision and will not be commenting any further at this stage.”
The company has seen a number of fires break out in its depots, with a large fire at Ocado’s Erith warehouse cost the company an estimated £35m, according to the News Shopper.