Hampstead hotel pays out thousands after worker suffered age discrimination

Marissa Terraneo had hoped to work for the hotel for five more years

Marissa Terraneo had hoped to work for the hotel for five more years - Credit: Archant

The breakfast supervisor, who worked for the chain since 1996, has also received a written apology after being ‘bullied and harassed’

A dedicated and conscientious breakfast supervisor has been awarded £64,000 after being discriminated against because of her age.

A tribunal found Marissa Terraneo, a widow from Golders Green, was “constructively dismissed”.

She started working for the Hampstead Premier Inn in 1996 and was 69 when she resigned last year.

The tribunal heard Mrs Terraneo was bullied and harassed by a manager at Premier Inn Hampstead who said, “oh you are too old now Marissa and you are forgetful now” in 2012.

Another manager said: “There is no room for you in this establishment, get out, get out” in March 2015.

The tribunal found the hotel cut Mrs Terraneo’s hours without consulting with her.

Most Read

Returning to work after a suspension for smoking in an unauthorised area, she was told to wear an apron and effectively demoted.

Mrs Terraneo was also shouted at within earshot of guests and her complaints about age discrimination were not addressed.

Judge Adamson found a “culture of age discrimination”.

After the hearing at Huntington Law Courts, Mrs Terraneo said she is happy with the payout and a written apology.

She said she had intended to work for the hotel for five more years. “My job was wonderful, looking after the guests... I just enjoyed seeing people happy.”

But in the last few years she was on anti-depressants and couldn’t even muster up the spirit to fly to a wedding in Spain last year.

“I couldn’t cope with the humiliation, I couldn’t cope with the stress.”

She has now applied for a volunteer role at the North London Hospice and is visiting her daughter and granddaughter in Spain.

Dennis McNulty, GMB branch secretary for Camden, said: “Consistent bullying and harassment by Premier Inn management is totally unacceptable and has had a hugely detrimental effect on Marissa.”

A spokeswoman for Whitbread, which owns Premier Inn, said: “As an equal opportunities employer we have taken all aspects of this isolated case very seriously indeed. Now that the court case has been concluded we will fully review the outcomes and learnings from it and revise our training and disciplinary investigation procedures where necessary.”