A female employee has won her Employment Tribunal claim for unfair dismissal and sexual harassment after she was fired in 2011.
The female employee (who cannot be identified for legal reasons) started work at the property firm, based in central London, as a personal assistant in 2008. Soon after she started work at the firm she started an affair with the CEO of the firm – an affair which continued until Christmas 2010 when the CEO’s wife found out. The female employee was subsequently sacked in 2011 after previously being offered a £50,000 tax-free redundancy package. After seeking employment law advice from unfair dismissal solicitors, the woman submitted an Employment Tribunal claim for (among other things) unfair dismissal and sexual harassment.
The case came to the London Central Employment Tribunal earlier this year. The Tribunal heard evidence from the woman that:
- She had had an affair with the Chief Executive Officer of a firm who was in his fifties
- That he had asked the woman to arrange a threesome with an Australian personal assistant, with the CEO promising to help with a visa if she agreed
- That the CEO would regularly walk around the office making comments like “it’s tits-out day” and “you’ve got your f***-me boots on”
- The CEO had taken the woman on trips to Cuba and Australia and that he had given her a flat and a car
The Employment Tribunal found in the woman’s favour in her claims for unfair dismissal and sexual harassment. They branded the CEO’s comments and actions in the workplace as “foul and objectionable” and said that the CEO was “insensitive” to the reaction that his behaviour would cause in the workplace. The Tribunal also stated that “this sort of behaviour has no place in the office of the 21st century”.
Chris Hadrill, an employment law solicitor at Redmans, commented on the case: “The Employment Tribunal takes a dim view of sexist behaviour in the workplace. If the Tribunal believes on the balance of probabilities that such actions have occurred then the employer may find it difficult to defend a claim for sexual harassment.”
The Employment Tribunal found the company had unlawfully dismissed and harassed the woman but did not rule on what remedy should be awarded. The matter will now probably progress to a remedies hearing at a later date.
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