Unsolicited telephone calls misusing our name - We do not nuisance cold call -
Have a question? Call us on 0800 1979 345
This article was published on October 3rd, 2019
Harassment has been in the legal news again this month. Our employment team discuss the recent issues Anthony harasses Belinda if he does something in relation to a protected characteristic (race, sex etc) which has the purpose or effect of violating Belinda’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for her.
The connection between the protected characteristic and the conduct is key. The burden of proof – who must prove what – is important in discrimination cases too. If an employee can prove facts from which, in the absence of another explanation, a tribunal could conclude harassment has occurred, then the burden of proof shifts to the employer to show that it did not happen. The Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) has looked at both these issues in Raj v Capita Business Services.
The employee was employed for less than a year and had performance issues before he was dismissed. He brought numerous claims against the employer. One claim was for sex harassment, alleging that his female manager had massaged his shoulders in an open plan office. The manager denied that the conduct had taken place, but other witnesses supported the employee’s version of events. They said the massages were accompanied by words of encouragement in relation to the employee’s performance.
An employment tribunal found that the massages were unwanted conduct which created an offensive environment for the employee. The tribunal accepted that the manager’s massage was misguided encouragement rather than anything to do with the employee’s sex. Even though in this case, the manager’s evidence about the massages was rejected, this did not automatically shift the burden of proof to the employer. The Employment Appeal Tribunal agreed. The burden of proof had not shifted because the facts did not show sex harassment. Even if the burden of disproving harassment had shifted to the employer, there was an explanation which did not relate to sex – misguided encouragement.
In this case, the employer seems to have dodged a bullet but learned a lesson. The tribunal referred to the massages as ‘an inappropriate way for a team leader to behave in an office’. Such behaviour in the office is almost certainly going to be inappropriate, even if is not discriminatory. Employers should ensure equal opportunities policies are clear on expected behaviour.
This website privacy notice sets out how Thorneycroft Solicitors uses and protects any information that you give Thorneycroft Solicitors when you use this website.
Thorneycroft Solicitors is committed to ensuring that your privacy is protected. Should we ask you to provide certain information by which you can be identified when using this website, then you can be assured that it will only be used in accordance with this privacy statement.
Thorneycroft Solicitors may change this policy from time to time by updating this page. You should check this page from time to time to ensure that you are happy with any changes. This policy is effective from 01/05/2018.
What we collect
We may collect the following information:
We will collect the information directly from you via completion of our enquiry form on the website.
What we do with the information we gather
We require this information to understand your needs and provide you with a better service, and in particular for the following reasons:
We will also collect and process your personal data if you have consented to receiving marketing in respect of our services. You are able to unsubscribe or withdraw your consent at any time by emailing [email protected] or writing to ‘Marketing’ at Thorneycroft Solicitors, 9a Bridge Street Mills, Bridge Street, Macclesfield, Cheshire SK11 6QA.
We are committed to ensuring that your information is secure. In order to prevent unauthorised access or disclosure, we have put in place suitable physical, electronic and managerial procedures to safeguard and secure the information we collect online.
If you do not instruct us in relation to your legal matter, your personal details will be retained for a period of 12 months.
If we are instructed in relation to your legal matter, we will keep it in line with our data retention periods. Details of our retention period for your legal matter can be found within our Client Care Letter and/or Terms of Business, under the heading file retention.
Links to other websites
Our website may contain links to other websites of interest. However, once you have used these links to leave our site, you should note that we do not have any control over that other website. Therefore, we cannot be responsible for the protection and privacy of any information which you provide whilst visiting such sites and such sites are not governed by this privacy statement. You should exercise caution and look at the privacy statement applicable to the website in question.
You can set preferences for how Google advertises to you using the Google Ad Preferences page, and if you want to you can opt out of interest-based advertising entirely by cookie settings or permanently using a browser plugin.×