Unwanted conduct results in tribunal ruling sexual harassment

An employee was made to feel that a colleague’s unwanted contact in the workplace was inevitable for women in the workplace, according to an employment tribunal. The tribunal judge found that persistent questioning at a grievance hearing minimised the employee’s complaint, and that the grievance chair harboured a belief that all women experience harassment.

The employee was a young sales assistant who complained about an older colleague’s unwanted conduct at work. She was subjected to unwanted sexual conduct by a colleague who got more confident as the day went on, while the pair were working alone together in the workplace.

The employee raised a grievance and then an appeal after she was not satisfied with the outcome; stating that she was “patronised and belittled” at her grievance hearing.

It was found that the employer had minimised the sexual harassment during the grievance hearing and failed to take the complaint seriously.

Any unwanted contact that is highlighted must be taken seriously and investigated impartially. 121 HR Solutions’ consultants are experienced in managing complex grievance and disciplinary situations and are always on hand to provide support to clients – contact us on 0800 9995 121 for further information.


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