Name - Chloe B
Role - Administrative Assistant
Department - Product Design
Immediate Manager - Harold L
Reason for Grievance: Inappropriate approach by manager
Date of Incident: 14th January 2021
Location of Incident: Head office, fourth floor
Persons Present: Chloe B, Harold L
Details to Support Claim:
I had just returned from lunch, finding everybody else was still out and sat at my desk. The door to Harry’s office opened, and he called me over. I got up, went to talk to him and he asked me to step into his office.
After I entered he indicated to the door and asked that I close it, which I did, then I sat in front of his desk. He was stood behind it. He looked at me and said a few words about the work we’re doing then said, “I’ve asked you in here for a specific reason. I’m sorry but you recall your work contract includes in your obligations the phrase ‘and any other tasks as may be required’?”
Naturally this caused me concern but I responded professionally and courteously, and indicated that I was aware of that clause.
At this point Harold undid his trouser belt and dropped his trousers to his ankles. As he did this he told me, “Well, Nanny’s on holiday and I need a change.”
I could see he was wearing underwear that was bulky and although it seemed to be covered in white plastic it was discoloured at the front and between his legs.
At this point in distress at this blatant sexual harassment I turned and left the room. I returned to my desk in tears then left the office; I am scared to return while Harry remains employed by the company, even should he be removed from a management position over me.
Resolution Required: Removal of Harold L from his position. Monetary compensation for distress caused.
Assigned HR Assessor: Judith K
Assigned Senior Manager: Darcy Q
HR Assessor Analysis:
Following interviews with Chloe and with Harold the description of events by Chloe in this Grievance case are accurate. However her admitted response to the difficult situation in which Harold found himself demonstrated illegal discrimination against a vulnerable adult, and justify a Gross Misconduct charge against Chloe for breaching company policy.
Specifically, including the testimony provided at interview, she has admitted to:
1 - Failing to comply with the terms of her contract, to whit performance of ‘any other tasks as may be required’
2 - Direct discrimination against Harold by referring to him as (quoting her precise words) “you fucking pervert”
3 - Direct and indirect discrimination against Harold by refusing him needed support due to her rejection of his disability
4 - Malign and malicious defamation due to spreading false rumours and misinformation regarding Harold amongst his and other teams
The number and nature of these breaches of policy (and the law) fully justify immediate dismissal. The Company is however willing to retain Chloe due to her otherwise impeccable work history here, subject to appropriate measures and training being put in place, if Harold is in agreement.
Senior Manager Decision:
After discussions with the Assigned HR Assessor (Judith) and the unfortunate victim of this episode (Harold) I am minded to accept his suggestion of pertinent training and correctional measures that will allow Chloe to continue her career with The Company.
The final decision is thus: Chloe may accept instant dismissal, loss of accrued benefits and a subsequent court case funded by The Company on behalf of Harold for her illegal discrimination. Should she wish to avoid this The Company are willing to retain her employment on the following conditions:
1 - She accepts and carries out to the best of her abilities the duties refused in the original incident, on the occasions Harold’s allocated carer is unavailable.
2 - A public apology is made, in which she withdraws and declares false the allegations and misrepresentations made against Harold
3 - She undergoes Empathy Training for a period of no less than six months, involving the full time wearing and use of diapers. This suggestion by Harold is unusual but has the support of The Company as it aligns to our Care and Compassion policy. Harold has indicated that his allocated carer is willing to provide the same care for Chloe during working hours
4 - Chloe will be ineligible for promotion or pay rises through the period of the Empathy Training. However the company will reimburse her spending on disposable diapers and wipes, as this is recognised as an additional unanticipated expense.
Decision Accepted by Petitioner: No
Escalation to Board: No
Referral to Tribunal: Yes
This Tribunal has heard from the three parties involved: Chloe B, Harold L and The Company. We find the facts in this case are uncontested, with the proposed resolutions by The Company the cause of challenge.
On this matter we side with Harold L and The Company, and note that the behaviour and lack of remorse by Chloe B is, in our view, disgraceful. We further note that should Harold B (funded by The Company or otherwise) pursue legal action against Chloe B following this incident, he is likely to receive a substantial reward that will leave her destitute.
As we have a duty of care we have thus sought a court order to prevent this from occurring, by removing the need to bring a private case.
Tribunal Verdict: The Decision of The Company is upheld. The option of being dismissed is removed by the aforementioned court order, which to assure justice in this matter also mandates (with legal force) compliance with all four of the conditions proposed by The Company.
Case Closed: Yes
Closure Reason: Chloe B terms of employment updated to include new conditions and funds allocated to reimburse first year of diaper purchases.