A FORMER traffic warden quit her job after refusing to issue nine parking tickets a day to meet her company’s target, an employment tribunal heard.

Dawn Parton, from Walsall, alleged that managers at APCOA Parking UK Ltd told her she “knew where the door was” if she refused to comply with the demand.

In a witness statement, Mrs Parton, a deputy team manager at the firm, said she was told to brief her team of civil enforcement officers about the target, despite her protests that the practice was illegal if cars were parked properly.

At the employment tribunal in Birmingham, Mrs Parton, claimed constructive dismissal and also alleged she faced discrimination from colleagues who put about false rumours that she was a lesbian. The married mum-of-two, who worked at the company from September 2008 until she quit in May last year, said staff at the firm sent text messages alleging she was having an affair with a female colleague.

Mrs Parton,said comments about her sexuality led her to change her appearance in case colleagues wrongly assumed she was a lesbian.

She said she was also reprimanded by manager Harjinder Sidhu for becoming “too friendly” with the officers she supervised.

Mrs Parton, also alleged that Paul Hunt, a fellow deputy team leader, prevented her from doing her job and threw his car keys at her when she tried to speak to him about it.

The claimant, who represented herself at the tribunal, said that after being signed off work with stress and anxiety, she has been unable to work and even tried to take her own life.

She said: “I have been mentally unable to seek paid employment due to the stresses and depression I have suffered.

“I was once a confident and outgoing person but, since I tried to take my own life due to the repercussions of the comments made at work, I am full of fear for working with people again in case the same happens.”

As well as claims for unfair dismissal and sexual orientation discrimination, Mrs Parton, also submitted claims for wrongful dismissal and an unfair deduction from wages.

The hearing was adjourned to a date to be fixed.

After the hearing was adjourned, an APCOA spokesman insisted the company did not set targets concerning parking tickets.

He said: “We cannot comment on an ongoing employment tribunal.

“We can however confirm that no APCOA contract targets are based on the number of penalty charge notices issued – this is in fact illegal.

“Similarly, neither APCOA nor our clients set charge notice targets for our civil enforcement officers.”