In Prewett v Green King Services Limited, Ms P was a pub manager. P joined in a conversation with the employer’s risk manager Mr Bentley (B) and the regional business development manager, Mr Gaunt (G). B said to G: “do you know what a growler is?” G replied “no” and B said to P, “if you know don’t tell him”, and then he told a joke about “a bloke saying when I ask for a growler, I don’t want a pork pie”. P felt uneasy as she did not understand what ‘growler’ meant and asked a colleague, who told her that it was a slang term for a vagina, which she confirmed via a Google search. She then fully understood the nature of the joke and felt unhappy about it. On another occasion when B visited the pub, P asked him, “what do you want to see first?” and he replied, “depends what’s on offer?”. P thought ‘here we go again’ and then B touched her on the back of her shoulder as they moved towards the pub’s kitchen area. An ET upheld P’s claim of sexual harassment. B had engaged in low level, poor taste humour with sexual innuendo amounting to unwanted conduct of a sexual nature. While B’s purpose was not to harass P, in all the circumstances, including P’s perception of the behaviour, it was reasonable to conclude that it did violate P’s dignity and created a hostile working environment. The ET awarded P £5,000.
Although no intent to harass sexual innuendo violated female employee’s dignity
Article by: Makbool Javaid |