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Care Assistant wins harassment case after being called ‘slut’

Makbool Javaid, Partner - Simons Muirhead & Burton

In the case of Ms C. L. Wallace v H-C One Ltd a care assistant, Ms Wallace, worked for HC-One, a provider of care for the elderly. Ms Helen Hewison worked at the Home as a Senior Carer. Ms Wallace said some carers had left because of her manner.

Hewison added Wallace as a friend on Facebook. Wallace told the tribunal she had posted modelling photos of her wearing a “black leather basque and fishnet stockings” for a rock magazine on the social media site. On 21 December, a few days after adding Hewison as a friend, Wallace found Hewison at the nurses’ station showing the photos to colleagues.

Wallace said Hewison commented that she looked like a “slut”. Hewison also allegedly asked a colleague “doesn’t she look like a slut?”, to which the colleague agreed, adding that she “looked like she belonged on a porn site”. A third colleague said she “looked like a go-go dancer”.

Later that day, as she went to clock off, Wallace claimed Hewison shouted “where are you going? Pink Lane”, which the tribunal noted was a road in Newcastle “notorious for prostitutes”. Wallace told the tribunal that she left work in tears and was so upset that a “member of the public” stopped to ask if she was OK.

The judge said: “The comment about her looking like a “go-go dancer”, and maybe even a “porn star”, could be described as “banter” but those about being a slut and going to Pink Lane could not.”

Wallace was awarded compensation of £3,000.

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