Mr Tom Ford, 31, who sings part-time for a hard-rock band, resigned from his job and brought legal claims against Lucy Myers, a colleague at the furniture store that he worked at, as well as a claim against his former employer, after Ms Myers engaged in unwanted sexual conduct towards Mr Ford in the workplace.
Mr Ford’s claims came before the Reading Employment Tribunal earlier this month, with a full employment tribunal panel hearing his claims for constructive unfair dismissal and sexual harassment. Mr Ford, giving evidence at the Employment Tribunal, alleged that Ms Myers had exhibited the following conduct towards him whilst he worked at The Good Shelf Company furniture store in Henley, Oxfordshire:
- That Ms Myers described Mr Ford’s girlfriend as a “Barbie” and a “bimbo” and said that she had fake breasts
- That Ms Ford would slap his buttocks and push her breasts against him on occasion
- That Ms Myers talked openly at work about previously working in a sex shop
- That Ms Myers referred to Mr Ford using foul and homophobic language during working hours
Mr Ford further stated that he felt as if he had no other option than to resign when his hours at work were severely reduced in January 2014 by Mr Gibbons, the owner of the Good Shelf Company. Mr Ford alleged that he had previously complained about Ms Myers’ conduct towards him but had been told by Mr Gibbons that he was being ‘over-sensitive’.
Ms Myers, giving evidence at the tribunal, denied that she had made any sexual comments or actions towards Mr Ford and claimed that the allegations against her had crippled her life.
In cross-examination, Mr Ford was questioned by Mr Gibbons’ as to whether he enjoyed female attention, pointing out that Mr Ford’s band-mates had stated in interviews online that he “loved” the attention of women.
Since leaving his job, Mr Ford has started a furniture company in Henley with a former colleague of his.
Chris Hadrill, an employment law solicitor at Redmans Solicitors, commented on the case: “Employers have an obligation to investigate complaints about sexual harassment and take appropriate action to investigate and, if necessary, address any upheld complaints. A failure to do so can result in a claim for sexual harassment in t
The Employment Tribunal hearing has now concluded and a judgment is expected in the case later this year.