Susie was employed as a receptionist in an office attached to a warehouse / distribution centre where staff would joke around with each other but unfortunately, her male manager continuously crossed the line.
From the very first day of her employment, Susie’s manager, Tony, subjected her to number of unwanted comments about what she was wearing and made sexual innuendos concerning her personal life. Tony also invaded her personal space by attempting to adjust a scarf she was wearing and on another occasion made a lewd gesture in front of her.
Susie asked her manager to stop this behaviour a number of times but he did not do so. The whole situation adversely affected Susie’s mental wellbeing and she was anxious about going into work. Susie eventually raised her concerns with HR and went off on sick leave.
Susie instructed us shortly after her employment had ended. At this point she was still waiting to hear from HR on her grievance. This was subsequently rejected.
We advised Susie that she had a claim for sexual harassment and that her employer had not dealt with her grievance in accordance with the ACAS Code of Practice by instigating a full and fair investigation. We notified Susie’s potential dispute with ACAS and assisted Susie with appealing her grievance.
Due to the harassment suffered, Susie had already decided she would not return to her paid employment and planned to start her own business from home. For personal reasons, Susie’s preference was to settle her dispute as quickly as possible and we commenced settlement negotiations on her behalf through ACAS.
Susie’s employer was only prepared to pay a “nuisance” level of settlement initially of £500 but we were able to increase this award to £8,000 to reflect the injury to feeling caused by the ongoing discrimination.
We were able to settle Susie’s claim quickly, without Susie having to issue a claim for sexual harassment. She chose not to bring a claim for loss of earnings as all her sick leave was fully paid and she was confident that her new business would replace her salary.
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