Sexually Harassed Woman Vindicated at Employment Tribunal
A mother of 2 who suffered from a sustained campaign of sexual harassment by her boss has won £30,000 compensation at an employment tribunal
Finally vindicated after the decision, the woman said she had felt "absolutely violated, upset and demeaned"
but was happy she "made a stand for lots of women who are afraid to speak out".
Sexual Harassment at Work
The woman in question, who worked as a recruitment manager, was groped at work and ridiculed by being compared to a bondage model
after taking the job to support her children.
On more than one occasion, she was put in compromising and uncomfortable situations in front of her fellow colleagues and clients. Two of these occasions include being called "proper top totty" and having her bottom groped
by the managing director after asking for a salary advance to take her children on holiday.
This is common in cases of harassment or discrimination, especially if it happens in a new position like in this situation. The inappropriate comments made towards the woman began to escalate, after she had breast enhancement surgery shortly after joining the company. Not wanting to lose her job after the first instance of harassment, she refrained from reporting the incident
to the human resources department.
HR Department Breached the Strictest Confidence
When she went ahead and reported the harassment to her human resources department, somehow, her trust was violated, and news of the complaint got back to the managing director's wife
. His wife was seen holding the HR file before having a very heated argument with her husband. Within the hour, after being subject to months of harassment, the woman was made redundant
without the managing director present.
If you have reported an incident to HR, you should be assured that that matter will not be shared with anyone, and should be treated in the strictest confidence
. Not only was she failed by her boss but also the HR department, who put her in a very compromising situation.
After taking her case to the employment tribunal, she was awarded compensation of over £29,500
and the employer was ordered to pay her legal costs of nearly £13,000.
When asked to give expert advice on the case, Simpson Millar LLP, said the case demonstrated, "blatant gender discrimination
which sadly, is all too common in the workplace".
We also feel that most cases are not as clear-cut as this.
"It's surprising this case proceeded to a full hearing of the Tribunal. They usually settle before that point. The only way of knowing the strength of your case is to speak to a solicitor and get proper legal advice on your position. "