• Robert Spicer

Sex discrimination: harassment: employer failing to prevent

SEX DISCRIMINATION

Harassment

Conduct clearly of sexual nature

Case Samuda v London Borough of Hackney and Adams (2016) Eq Opp Rev 271:25, East London ET

Facts S was employed by LBH from 2006. In 2013 Mr E joined her tea. His behaviour was described as eccentric and weird. He told stories of his sexual exploits, brought women’s underwear to work and sat at his desk with his trousers undone. She complained about his behaviour and he was suspended. A disciplinary hearing found that his behaviour was inappropriate. The complaint of sexual harassment was not addressed and he was allowed to return to work. In 2015 S resigned and complained of unfair dismissal and sexual harassment.

Decision 1. The complaint was upheld.

  1. Mr E’s conduct was clearly unwanted and was for the purpose of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.

  2. The employer had not taken all reasonable steps to prevent the harassment.

  3. S was awarded £12,000 compensation for injury to feelings. She had been considerably sensitised and upset, she had contemporaneously diarised and recorded events of harassment and had been off work with stress entirely attributable to her continuing issues.

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