Want to talk to an expert employment law solicitor?

You'll receive a callback from a specialist within an hour

hmctsA waitress who was working on a zero-hours contract has won her legal claims against a hotel chain after her manager made inappropriate actions and comments towards her.

Lucy Southern won £20,000 at the Leeds Employment Tribunal after it was found that her line manager had sexually harassed her and had subjected her to sex discrimination.

Ms Southern, who worked on a zero-hours contract behind the bar at the Britannia Hotel in Leeds, was subjected to inappropriate touching, kissing and comments by her manager, Alex Nkoroi. An investigation was then carried out by the hotel chain, which found that no disciplinary sanction was appropriate.

Ms Southern issued her Employment Tribunal claims for direct sex discrimination, sexual harassment, and indirect discrimination in 2013 and they came to the Employment Tribunal earlier this year. Ms Southern, giving evidence at the Tribunal, stated that the following had occurred:

  • That Mr Nkoroi asked her about her sex life and whether she wore stockings in bed
  • That Mr Nkoroi began touching her, slapping her bottom, and kissing her on the neck in October 2013
  • That he also stood behind her to “grind” up and down her back and later stroked her back and prodded her in a private area with a pen
  • That she first complained in August 2013 but nothing was done. When she submitted a further complaint a manager chose not to take disciplinary action against Mr Nkoroi
  • That a further investigation was carried out by the hotel after the Employment Tribunal application was lodged but that this also found that Mr Nkoroi had only engaged in one inappropriate action – the kissing on the neck – and, further, that Ms Southern had encouraged this

Ms Southern’s claim came to the Employment Tribunal earlier this year, with both Ms Southern and Mr Nkoroi giving evidence. Mr Nkoroi, a practicing Christian who swore on the Bible, refused to deny the accusations, although he claimed that he had forgotten some and that some of the touching might have been accidental. He further stated that he may have had a conversation with Ms Southern regarding her sexual activities but that this would have been in the context of a discussion about his religious beliefs. He further gave evidence that – prior to the issue of the Employment Tribunal claim – he had not received any equality or diversity training.

The Employment Tribunal found in Ms Southern’s favour in her claims against Britannia Hotels and Mr Nkoroi for sexual harassment and direct sex discrimination, although it rejected her claim for indirect sex discrimination. The Tribunal awarded Ms Southern £19,500 as compensation for her injury to feelings, finding that the conduct complained of had been over an extended period of time, that the employer had had the means of addressing the problem and had failed to do so, and that the actions had had a magnified impact upon Ms Southern because of mental health issues that she suffered.

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans Solicitors, commented on the news: “Employers should ensure that staff undergo equality and diversity training and, further, that any complaints of harassment, discrimination or victimisation are thoroughly investigated and properly dealt with. A failure to do so can result in expensive and potentially embarrassing Employment Tribunal litigation.”

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees

Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk.

Share →

Our awards

Request a callback

Your name

Your email

Your telephone number

Contact us

Please feel free to discuss your own position and concerns. Contact your nearest office on:

T: 020 3397 3603
E: enquiries@redmans.co.uk
W: www.redmans.co.uk

Testimonials

4.52 Average

21 Reviews

Redman's provided excellent legal employment advice for me during a difficult time in my employment. Chris was my lawyer, super efficient, quick, reliable and clearly very experienced in the matter. Could not ask for a better law firm to deal with your query if you are in need of some help. Would definitely use them again in the future. Highly recommending Chris.

Posted 1 month ago

Steven

Chris Hadrill was very professional and responsive. I would highly recommend him

Posted 1 month ago

Dinah

Very Efficient, with very quick email reply’s. I had a matter that needed resolving within a very short space of time and Redmans Solicitors were great with dealing with my matter quickly.

Posted 1 month ago

Ankar

At Redmans the solicitor that was dealing with me was Chris. He dealt with my situation smoothly with clear guidance and explanation

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Clear, concise advice and guidance delivered by an experienced and very capable solicitor, within the timelines required

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Very efficient service. I never had to wIt for more than a day for a reply to any of my queries and the matter was dealt with swiftly.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Very timely, thorough and helpful advice. Friendly and considerate of the needs of the client

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Very prompt and attention to detail. Thank you for the service

Posted 2 months ago

Chris

Couldn’t be happier with how Redmans successfully handled our seemingly tricky case. By being clear and detailed every step of the way, with the utmost professionalism and courtesy, they made it an informative and eye-opening process, taking the stress out of the situation and ultimately delivered what you would want from such a service. I fully appreciate everything they have done, and if I am ever in need of such services in the future, they will be the first number I contact. Excellent.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Excellent work delivered with great quality

Posted 2 months ago

Dominic

Chris Hadrill was a great help both in terms of his advice and his expertise. He explained my options to me clearly and concisely enabling me to quickly make the right decision for me in the circumstance. I would not hesitate to recommend Chris or Redmans to friends or colleagues, and would certainly make Redmans my first port of call should I require a similar service in the future.

Posted 2 months ago

Kurt

Redmans gave excellent advice and helped me understand everything in clear concepts. Thank you!

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Resolved my issues

Posted 2 months ago

Keith

Quick fast professional service.

Posted 2 months ago

Michael

"Prompt, efficient and practical advice that resulted in me getting some additional money tax free."

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Patient and thorough advice given to me around my Settlement Agreement

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

"Excellent service, getting back to you promptly giving you very good advice."

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

I found Chris Hadrill to be an excellent help, he is very knowledgeable and gives good ,concise ,strategic advice .He makes himself readily accessible when you need him.I would personally highly recommend him.

Posted 2 months ago

Christine

Professional, efficient and reliable service provided. I strongly recommend them and I would use this service again.

Posted 2 months ago