Sexual Harassment & Termination Of Employment
I was delighted to help a client who had been the victim of sexual harassment and then had her contract of employment terminated. Read on for my client’s story.
Assessment of Employment Tribunal Claim for Sexual Harassment
A lovely lady called saying her father had insisted she contact us about her situation at work. She said she “knew she couldn’t do anything. She explained she had been receiving free employment law advice from a telephone helpline. However, her father wanted her to call to “make sure”.
She stated she had been working for a company as an Apprentice. She was the only female in an office of male colleagues. She was also the youngest. She explained that she was made to feel uncomfortable by her Supervisor who was also the most senior member of staff on site. It started with little things such as when she looked up from her desk or turned around from the photocopier, he would be staring at her.
It then escalated to him having conversations with his male colleagues about her. Initially they commented on her clothes and whether she had a boyfriend. Over the course of the next few months, the comments got even more personal as they discussed her underwear and whether she was having sex.
My client wasn’t sure what to do. This was her first ever job. As an Apprentice she needed her Supervisor’s help with her assessments. She just tried to keep her head down and changed the way she dressed.
Towards the end of her Apprenticeship, she needed her Supervisor to approve some of her work. He asked her why she had started looking so “frumpy”. He also asked what she was “going to offer him” in exchange for approving her assignment. At this point she decided she had to do something about the sexual harassment she was suffering.
My client then went to see the Managing Director to report what had happened. The Managing Director was clearly unhappy when my client told him about the sexual harassment by the Supervisor. He said he would speak to the Supervisor, which he did. All comments stopped, and the Supervisor apologised for his behaviour. My client put the situation behind her.
My client’s Apprenticeship came to an end a few weeks later. Throughout her employment she had been told that her work was excellent and that the company would be offering her a permanent position. However, upon completion of her Apprenticeship my client was informed that her services were no longer required and that her employment was being terminated. When she asked for an explanation, she was told that there were “concerns about her being a team player”.
The free employment law advice helpline had said the employer was under no obligation to offer her a position when the Apprenticeship ended. This was, of course, correct. However, I was concerned that the reason her employment was terminated was in response to her making a complaint of sexual harassment against her Supervisor. Therefore, the decision to terminate her employment was an act of victimisation.
What I did to help
I was instructed to undertake the ACAS Early Conciliation process on behalf of my client. In so doing, I set out in full the strength of my client’s case, what evidence we had obtained to support her claim and a Schedule of Loss explaining how her request for compensation had been calculated. The matter never progressed as far as an Employment Tribunal hearing as her former employers, very quickly, made an offer of settlement which she accepted.
My client was pleased with the outcome and to put the matter behind her. However, she was shocked that she could have lost out on thousands of pounds of compensation if she had accepted the free employment law advice she had received from the helpline. I was just delighted to have helped her get the compensation she deserved.
Can Lincs Law Employment Solicitors Help You?
If you are having problems at work, perhaps you are suffering sexual harassment or had your employment terminated after making a complaint, please call for a free telephone consultation on 01522 440512. For more information about Lincs Law Employment Solicitors including what we do and how we do it, please visit our website at www.lincslaw.co.uk
Specialist Employment Law Solicitor
Lincs Law Employment Solicitors, Lincoln