‘Second Wife’ wins sexual harassment claim

An employee who left her job after rejecting advances from her boss and being demoted as a result, has been awarded almost £100,000 after she won an employment tribunal on the grounds of sexual harassment.

The employer made repeated advances towards the claimant calling her a ‘naughty girl’ and his ‘second wife’; even complimenting her ‘fashion model’ looks. He went as far as buying a diamond solitaire ‘commitment’ ring and suggested purchasing a property in Cyprus for them both to enjoy.

The claimant initially ignored his advances to avoid risking her employment. However the advances became more persistent and when an incident occurred where the respondent kissed the claimant on the cheek in front of her daughter, she complained.  But his behaviour turned hostile after she told him to stop and he reportedly demoted her in retaliation. This ultimately lead to her leaving the company.

The Employment Judge ruled that the behaviour was inextricably linked to the fact that the claimant was a woman. Employers have a legal duty of care towards their employees and in turn, employees have a right to expect that they will not be made to feel uncomfortable, intimidated or violated in the course of their work. 121 HR Solutions can be contacted at enquiries@121hrsolutions.co.uk to discuss this subject further.

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