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Sexual Harassment Solicitors - Compensation Claim Advice* Claims
Sexual harassment has been defined as 'unwanted conduct of a sexual nature or other conduct based on sex affecting the dignity of women and men at work'. The Courts have stated that the essential characterisation is that it is words or conduct which is unwelcome to the recipient. It is in effect for the recipient themselves to decide what is acceptable and what is unwelcome or offensive. If the recipient therefore rejects the conduct and there is a continuation of that conduct none the less, then that can be regarded as harassment which may result in a sexual harassment solicitor taking a potentially successful compensation claim to the Employment Tribunal.
Sexual Harassment by an employee of another employee is an act of misconduct which may justify dismissal. It can also be a criminal offence and imprisonable under the Protection From Harassment Act 1997.
Restricted Reporting Order
Where cases involve sexual misconduct, the Employment Tribunal may at its own discretion make a 'restricted reporting order' which will restrict the reporting of the case so that the identity of the person making the allegation or any person affected by it can be protected. The only specific employment law protection, comes from the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 and the EC Equal Treatment Directive 76/207. However, a European Directive has been passed requiring all member states to introduce legislation specifically outlawing this type of behaviour.
Employment Tribunal awards of compensation can be substantial. Sexual harassment solicitors frequently obtain awards for injury to feelings which can be made against the employer as well as the perpetrator who may be another employee. It is important therefore that the Employer is ever vigilant as to these acts in the workplace. A code of practice was recommended for adoption by the European Commission and although it does not have the force of law it is a useful guide for employers in dealing with potential sexual harassment. Other useful publications can be found in the Equal Opportunities Commission which publishes a guide to the relevant law and in HMSO.
Equal Opportunities Commission
The Equal Opportunities Commission has a specific section on its website for dealing with sexual harassment and suggests 5 positive steps an employer can take. These are:-
- The employer should develop a clear policy for preventing and tackling this type of behaviour.
- Once developed, the employer should ensure that everyone is aware of and understands the policy.
- The employer should lead by example and make Managers and Supervisors personally responsible
- The employer should continuously monitor the policy implementation to ensure that it is working properly.
- In the event of an incident, it should be treated as a Health and Safety issue as it can have a serious impact on the physical and mental well being of victims.
Sexual Harassment Solicitors
Specialist employment law solicitors operate exclusively in all areas of dispute between employees and employers and they do nothing else which enables them to achieve your goals in the most efficient and practical way possible. They are able to pursue or negotiate a sexual harassment compensation claim on your behalf and can provide representation anywhere in the United Kingdom. If you would like an initial free consultation for advice to find out whether you have a good case, how to go about claiming and how much your compensation might be worth you can call the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices. If after talking to a specialist lawyer you decide not to take matters further you are under no obligation to do so and you will not be charged for our initial advice session.