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Driver subjected to sexual advances and biased grievance process was constructively dismissed

A female driver who was sexually harassed by her manager and supervisor has won her claim for constructive unfair dismissal.

The driver was harassed from the date of her interview for the role, with the manager taking her phone number from her application and making sexual advances on numerous occasions. She was also moved to another depot so the supervisor there could continue to encourage her manager’s advances.

Following her rebuffs, the manager made a complaint about her “poor attitude” just before the driver put in a formal grievance. The manager investigating the grievance was ill-prepared and was familiar with her manager, and concluded the conduct was neither harassment nor bullying and may have been welcomed. The driver’s appeal was not upheld, and she resigned.

A female driver who was sexually harassed by her manager and supervisor has won her claim for constructive unfair dismissal.

The Tribunal held that the conduct was clearly unwanted and amounted to a clear breach of trust and confidence, as did the employer’s treatment of her grievance. The Tribunal was particularly critical of those who conducted the grievance and appeal due to their lack of impartiality and their pre-determined opinions.

This case is a reminder to employers to ensure that grievances of this nature are investigated by a member of staff who has both the appropriate training and independence to do so.

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