Sexual harassment is unwanted behaviour of a sexual nature and is unlawful under the Equality Act 2010. The actions or words are found to be harassment if they violate an employee’s dignity or create an environment which is intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive.
Many people do not realise the experiences they have had would amount to sexual harassment as this can include sexual jokes, displaying images of a sexual nature i.e. calendars, sending emails of a sexual content or unwelcome sexual advances relating to touching. There are many ways to deal with such conduct (notwithstanding involving the Police if an employee has been physically assaulted).
It is also helpful to compile evidence of the behaviour of colleagues as this allows a Manager, Trade Union Representative or Human Resources to be contacted with proof of the allegations made. If a colleague continues to be harassing once an initial report has been made, a formal grievance can be raised under the employer’s grievance process.
A victim of sexual harassment can bring a claim in the employment tribunal for sexual harassment in the workplace.
If you are unsure of whether your case would qualify as a claim of sexual harassment, the below case studies may be helpful and Ringrose Law could assist you in bringing a claim.
Case Study 5 – Claimant F
F was a victim of unwanted sexual advances from her employer together with continued harassment of both a sexual and non-sexual nature.
Ringrose Law assisted F in bringing a claim to the Employment Tribunal in order that F could pursue her claim. F was successful in her claim before it proceeded all the way to the Tribunal.
Ringrose Law negotiated a settlement agreement on the best possible terms as F felt she could not return to work.
Case Study 6 – Claimant G
G was subjected to repeated sexual advances and eventually engaged in relations with his colleague. However, his colleague told another member of staff and they began to spread nasty and explicit rumours about G which amounted to further sexual advances from the other member of staff.
G reported the issues to HR and his Line Manager, but the conduct continued. G was able to bring a claim in the Tribunal, where he was successful in proving he had been sexually harassed by the second member of staff.
If you require any assistance with an employment law dispute, please telephone our employment law team on 01522 561020 and we will arrange an appointment for you to attend a free clinic at one of the following offices:
Boston office Tuesday 31 July 2018.
Newark office Tuesday 07 August 2018.