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Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, answers the question:

“I work for a law firm in the City of London and have been dismissed by my boss because I ended a sexual relationship I was having with him – do I have a claim?”

If, in asking ‘what can I do’, you’re asking whether you can bring a claim against your previous employer and/or your previous boss in the circumstances, this will depend on a number of factual and legal issues – we’ll address these below. From an analysis of your question, it appears that you have the following potential claims against your previous employer and/or previous boss:

  1. Unfair dismissal
  2. Notice pay
  3. Direct sex discrimination
  4. Sexual harassment
  5. Gender-related harassment
  6. Victimisation

Unfair dismissal

In order to bring a claim for unfair dismissal you must have been an employee of the law firm and have been employed continuously by the firm for at least two years to the date of your dismissal. Assuming that these criteria are satisfied, whether your dismissal would be fair or not would depend upon the reason that your previous employer gave for your dismissal, whether a fair disciplinary procedure was followed prior to your dismissal, whether you were allowed to appeal against your dismissal, and whether the decision-maker reasonably and genuinely believed you should be dismissed based on the allegations put to you. We would therefore need to collect further information from you in order to determine the prospects of success of an unfair dismissal claim.

Notice pay

Whether you would succeed on this claim would depend on whether you were contractually-entitled upon the termination of your employment to be paid your notice pay. Again, we would need more information to be able to give you our opinion on the prospects of success of a claim for notice pay.

Direct sex discrimination

In order to succeed with a claim for direct sex discrimination you would need to show that, in being dismissed, you were treated less favourably than a comparable male employee had been treated or would be treated. There is a substantial amount of precedent (for example, B v A [2007] UKEAT/0450/06/0901 and Martin v. Lancehawk Ltd (t/a European Telecom Solutions) [2004] UKEAT/0525/03/2203) to suggest that it would be difficult for you to succeed with a claim for direct sex discrimination in the circumstances, as you would need to show that a homosexual male employee would not have been dismissed if they had ended a sexual relationship with their homosexual male boss.

Sexual harassment

If you were subjected to any unwanted sexual conduct by your boss after you ended the relationship then you may have a claim for sexual harassment – again, further information would be needed to give you a view on the prospects of success of such a claim.

Gender-related harassment

If you were subjected to any unwanted conduct related to your gender by your boss after you ended the relationship then you may have a claim for gender-related harassment – again, and not to sound like the proverbial ‘broken record’, we would need further information in order to advise you on the prospects of success of such a claim.

Victimisation

If you filed a grievance against your boss (formal or informal, verbal or written) because of any discrimination or harassment that you believed you had suffered from him and were then subjected to any detriment then you would have a claim for victimisation if you could show that the detriment you suffered was because of the complaint you made. Again, further information would be needed on this point.

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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    Testimonials

    4.80 Average

    330 Reviews

    Arabella B

    I am so grateful to Caroline Lewis at Redmans Solicitor’s for helping me with my Unfair Dismissal Case. I was seriously impressed how easy Redmans made the whole case, and am very happy with my Settlement. I have recommended your firm to at least 5 people in the last 3 months.. Thank you Caroline and everyone at Redmans. You are Brilliant .

    Posted 7 hours ago

    Anonymous

    Highly professional and efficient service.

    Posted 12 hours ago

    Tanya T

    I had the pleasure of Chris and Sacha’s experience with a work matter. They made me feel at ease with the process and explained everything thoroughly. Would happily recommend Redmans especially Chris and use them if needed I’m the future. Thank you!

    Posted 13 hours ago

    Anonymous

    I used the services of Redmans solicitors and was a quick outstanding service I engaged them in a settlement agreement after been made redundant extremely professional at all that was done and would definetly use them again

    Posted 14 hours ago

    Adrian A

    Spot on support, enough to get the matter at hand sorted. No beating around the bush, no nonsense - got the job done and we all moved on.

    Posted 14 hours ago

    Mark Q

    Five Stars I was most impressed by the attention, courtesy, speed and above all, professionalism in dealing with my Settlement Agreement. I would certainly have no problem in recommending this firm to anyone in need of their services.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Ade A

    I was surprisingly impressed by how Redmans Solicitors handle my case. From the moment I call them to the absolute end of my case, they always look after my best interest.

    Posted 1 week ago

    Malcolm P

    they were there when others were not

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Excellent service all the way through from start to finish. Really great support and guidance from the team, they secured the offer that I wanted. I can't recommend Redmans highly enough and will be sure to use their services again should the need arise.

    Posted 2 weeks ago

    Anonymous

    Efficient and quick service!

    Posted 1 month ago

    Karen B

    Quick response very helpful Issue raised dealt with very quickly

    Posted 1 month ago

    Carmen T

    Redmans give Great service and advice on reading contracts. They can explain all the solicitors jargon into words that you can understand. I received excellent service an I will use them again and again.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Anonymous

    Very grateful for Mel’s efforts in handling my case from start to finish which I would have found very stressful without it. She was very professional, friendly and we had a positive outcome. Highly recommend.

    Posted 1 month ago

    Nalin W

    Mel Chin was my Legal Executive when I engaged the services of Redmans Solicitors to help with a redundancy matter. She was incredibly approachable and professional from start to finish. Specially I have to mention regarding prompt reply to all my email queries, It was super quick. I would thoroughly recommend Mel Chin. Many Thanks

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    I'd highly recommend Redmans Solicitors. Mel was very helpful and assisted me throughout my case.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Sacha was very thorough and very helpful, with great advice on when to act and when to wait on my case.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    I have been very pleased with the support I got from Redmans Solicitors on my case with my employer. Caroline has always helped me to put things in perspective and showed me different scenarios ultimately to help me taking the right decision. She was very professional and always available when I needed, and at the same time also emphatic which I found also really important to establish a strong relationship. Will definitely recommend!

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Prompt and efficient response to my enquiries. Excellent negotiating skills with my employer which considerably improved the terms of my settlement agreement.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Anonymous

    Very quick and professional service , Rana was very helpful

    Posted 2 months ago

    James G

    Very professional, knowledgeable and kept me informed at every stage of my case. I would highly recommend Redmans.

    Posted 2 months ago

    Pravina P

    Chris was really good and help solve my issues with current company. I would recommend him to anyone.

    Posted 3 months ago