The woman had started at Aldi in 1992 as a cashier, but had since risen to dispatch manager, a logistics position. When a job as a distribution manager became available, she applied. She did not tell her immediate boss, who was on leave.
She did not get the job, but a High Potential Process coaching program was started to help her with her further development.
When her supervisor heard that she had applied, he started bullying her, according to the woman. For example, in 2015 she had an unexpected assessment interview about 2014 in which she learned that she was not doing her job properly. However, that was not argued. “I cannot substantiate that is my feeling”, said her supervisor.
The woman reported to the head of human resources in October 2015 that she had been bullied. “Intimidation and bullying in the workplace,” said the email. “Since I announced that I applied for the position of distribution manager, the working relationship has been unsustainable, as my supervisor systematically intimidates and bullies me at work.”
“I have decided to hit you 10 times a day”, her boss would have said, among other things. He also increased her stress level. A conversation followed, but the harassment continued, after which the woman called in sick.
In August 2017 she started reintegration at work, but again her supervisor would make it difficult for her. Moreover, advice from the company doctor was not properly followed. She dropped out again, after which Aldi fired her in May 2019 due to long-term illness. She did receive nearly 75,000 euros as severance pay.
However, she wanted even more money and started the lawsuit. The court agreed with Aldi, but in the appeal the court took its side. Aldi should have acted better. The discount supermarket therefore has to pay an extra 2 tons and also pays for the costs of the lawsuit.