Petty? Look Deeper
Petty? Look Deeper, It’s Serious
Over the last few months we have brought to your attention employment tribunal cases in which the reasons for the winning judgement have, for many of us, seemed eyebrow raising.
Our focus of attention this month is on an employment tribunal award where, at first glance, the issue appeared, perhaps, petty. However, when looking carefully at all the circumstances a very serious issue emerges…. the line which cannot be crossed by bosses and employees.
In this tribunal case the names of those involved have been withheld for reasons of privacy, which in itself is unusual. A manager sent an executive within the same organisation a series of peach emojis. Yes, that’s right! An employment tribunal in Leeds was told that her boss first engaged in an “awkward” romantic pursuit of his junior colleague, which eventually turned into a campaign of harassment.
The manager bombarded the woman with messages, including peach emojis, which are commonly used to refer to a person’s bottom. At one stage, the manager proposed that they moved abroad together to start a business.
The woman, who had only recently joined the business on a salary of £55,000, told the tribunal that she had been “embarrassed” by the attention and that she had repeatedly rebuffed her boss’s “overt” advances. She ultimately confided in a friend, who described the manager as a “stalker”.
The woman, who the court ordered must remain anonymous, had her “dignity violated” by her married manager.
She has been awarded £419,352 after suing the company, which also cannot be named, for sex harassment and victimisation. Most of the compensation was for loss of future and current earnings, as well as £24,000 for injury to feelings and £30,000 for psychiatric injury.
The Graham Agency, keeping you informed.