Jealous’ colleagues’ put poo in co-worker’s lunch box in cruel prank

A factory worker who argued her husband’s “dream car” sparked a serious spate of workplace bullying has won a harassment claim. 

Dagmar Capandova, originally from the Czech Republic, worked at the Biffa Polymers recycling plant in Yorkshire in the UK when the abuse began in 2017.

According to legal documents seen by, it started with nasty comments but escalated to more serious attacks, with a mystery culprit putting excrement in the 45-year-old’s lunch box, spiking her coffee with laxatives, urinating in her work boots, going through her handbag and placing alcohol inside her locker.

Employment tribunal judge Tudor Garnon heard Ms Capandova believed the bullying was racially motivated, and that most of her colleagues had a Polish background.

Ms Capandova found the abuse “threatening and intimidating”. Picture: iStock
She claimed it started out of jealousy over her husband’s Audi, which her supervisor described as his “dream car”.

To be honest, it’s a silly thing – my husband has a nice car, his business is to sell and buy cars. All of us, even Polish families, were born in a deep communism so people are jealous when we have something – they ask us why do I have this and why I work in a factory, the mother of one said in a statement.
This all happened because people are jealous of the car. English people don’t understand it because English people don’t care what cars people have.
To be honest I think all of this hell is caused by the Polish people I don’t know why. Maybe because I didn’t sleep with them or I didn’t get on with them I really do not know what I did. That is why I want to get to the bottom of things. This is hidden bullying.

She also claimed that one of her co-workers verbally harassed her with comments such as: 

Hey Czech, you here again? What are you wanting here? Don’t worry you are not going to be here long’, which she found “threatening and intimidating.

She also alleged she was referred to as a “gypsy” by her colleague while another made unwanted sexual jokes and comments about the pair of them and once touched her breasts.

Ms Capandova said she put up with the situation for a period of time but that it was causing her “increasing upset, stress and anxiety to the extent she did not like being at work”.

Judge Garnon said Ms Capandova had been harassed during her time at Biffa, which extended from March 2017 to September 2018.

We accept somebody put excrement in her lunch box, laxatives in her coffee, alcohol in her locker, urinated in her boots and went through her bag. These were the acts of a person, probably more than one person, which had a profound effect upon (Ms Capandova) and understandably so, the judge found.
She cannot say, nor can we tell, who did it, still less why.

However, Judge Garnon said the company was not liable for sex or race discrimination and that Biffa “can only compensate for the injury caused by the acts which were proved as being harassment”.
It is understood compensation will be assessed at a later date.

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