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In the case of W v Lincolns Care Ltd ET/3304309/2018, the Employment Tribunal upheld the Claimant’s claims for sexual harassment after she was harassed by a sex offender, awarding her almost £25,000 in compensation.

The facts in W v Lincolns Care Ltd

The Claimant commenced employment for Lincolns Care Ltd (“Lincolns”) on 26 January 2015 in a position to support adults with mental health or learning disabilities in their own homes.

The following conduct occurred during the Claimant’s employment with Lincoln’s:

  • 9 February 2015: Juan Landazuri, a colleague and Spanish national, attempted to kiss her
  • 11 February 2015: Mr Landazuri stood directly behind the Claimant while she was working, described her as a “pretty lady”, and attempted to kiss her by grabbing her face in his hands. He attempted to put his tongue in her mouth
  • 12 February 2015: an incident similar to the incident on 11 February 2015 occurred, this time in the presence of a client of Lincoln’s
  • April 2015: Mr Landazuri touched between her shoulder blades, ran his hands down her back, and felt her bottom. He also touched her breasts on a separate occasion and asked intrusive private questions about the Claimant’s life and her sex life
  • Various occasions:  Mr Landazuri rubbed his hands on her back, described her as a “pretty lady”, and made his attraction to her sexually known

The Claimant complained about Mr Landazuri’s behaviour with her colleagues and with Lincolns and was told that this might be a ‘cultural matter’. She was told to ‘kick him between the legs’ if he attempted to approach her again. The Claimant also reported Mr Landazuri’s behaviour to the police – the Claimant was subsequently informed that Mr Landazuri was a convicted sex offender who had already once been deported from the UK.

The Claimant was extremely upset by her treatment; she did not go into work in June 2015 for two weeks as she felt too unwell to do so, and she was then signed off work by her GP. She decided that she could not return to work when she found out that Mr Landazuri was returning to work after being remanded on bail. She resigned from her employment on 30 June 2015.

The decision of the Employment Tribunal (ET)

The Employment Tribunal awarded default judgment in the Claimant’s favour, Lincolns not having filed a response to her claim. The Employment Tribunal therefore dealt with remedy.

Remedy

The Employment Tribunal awarded the Claimant a total 0f £24,103.09, comprised of the following:

  • Injury to feelings: £18,000
  • Loss of earnings: £874.05
  • Interest: £5,229.04

Our solicitors’ views on the case of in W v Lincolns Care Ltd

Chris Hadrill, the partner in the employment department at Redmans, made the following comment on the case: “The fact that the Claimant had complained about the way that she was treated but that no action was taken to deal with or investigate her complaints appears to have been an important issue in this case – employers must take complaints of sexual harassment seriously and deal with complaints in a prompt, efficient, and thorough manner. A failure to do so can potentially result in expensive, stressful and time-consuming litigation in the Employment Tribunal”

The decision of the Employment Tribunal in W v Lincolns Care Ltd can be found here.

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. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

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