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Sexual harassment allegation/ Immediate dismissal

Employment and Discrimination Law

Sexual harassment allegation/ Immediate dismissal

Postby benLP » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:27 pm

A friend of mine works as a sales representative and had a short sexual relationship with a member of staff in one of the stores he visited, they only slept together once however they stayed in contact and were friends although she would flare up at him some times and it was obvious she was quite obsessed with him. They had a big argument and after he suggested they spend a night in a hotel (she had been wanting him to go on holiday which I told him was a bad idea) she sent messages in response which were very out of character saying he was crossing boundaries, she wasn't interested in him romantically and did not want to have sex with him etc. She then complained at her work that he was sexually harassing her and showed these specific messages to her employer. Her employer contacting his company and he received a letter which was an immediate termination of conract due to gross misconduct which also said that they saw confirmation messages. I can post the email if people require it.

He was never contacted by his employee to ask for his side of the story, he has literally hundreds of whatsapp and text messages showing that he was clearly not sexually harassing her, however he is not sure how to proceed. He has worked at the company for just under a year (which i know is an issue) and he was told by ACAS (by an uninterested advisor) that theres nothing he can do. He has not contacted them yet as he was hoping ACAS would give him advice.

He's not sure what to do now as he wants to clear his name as he has evidence against the accusation. Can anyone advise what he should do next? It seems crazy that someone can make an accusation and have such a dramatic impact on someone's life. He's now banned from the chain of stores and been sacked with immediate effect yet no-one has even spoken to him or asked for his side of the story. I myself have messages I sent him warning that I thought she was the sort of person who would do something like this! There is a lot of evidence of us discussing her being infactuated too.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated
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Re: Sexual harassment allegation/ Immediate dismissal

Postby Hairyloon » Mon Jul 31, 2017 9:33 pm

I am moved to wonder if she would have been sacked so quickly if he had complained of the harassment...
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Re: Sexual harassment allegation/ Immediate dismissal

Postby dls » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:03 am

He moves on.

The company can dismiss him for any non-discriminatory reason, or none.
I would talk to a manager, and suggest that such evidence exists, and see if a better reference can be negotiated.

It is very possible that such behaviour - irrespective of any allegation of harrassment - would lead to dismissal.
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Re: Sexual harassment allegation/ Immediate dismissal

Postby atticus » Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:40 am

could it be that sleeping with a store buyer crossed a line for the employer?

It is unfortunate that she turned out to be a bunny boiler.
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Re: Sexual harassment allegation/ Immediate dismissal

Postby Hairyloon » Tue Aug 01, 2017 9:45 am

Could be, but I did not read in OP that that allegation was passed to the employer.
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Re: Sexual harassment allegation/ Immediate dismissal

Postby dls » Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:00 pm

You miss the point, HL. The employer may very easily have a hard and fast rule against sales employees having relationships with the staff of customers. If so, he would be dismissed irrespective of any harrassment allegation. The relationship would be enough. It may well be a fairly common rule.
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Re: Sexual harassment allegation/ Immediate dismissal

Postby benLP » Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:21 pm

They do not have this rule and it is not in the contract
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Re: Sexual harassment allegation/ Immediate dismissal

Postby 3.14 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:02 pm

He moves on. As DLS points and the OP himself points out, 'less than one year of employment' rules out any possible fight back against this.
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Re: Sexual harassment allegation/ Immediate dismissal

Postby diy » Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:48 am

Could he sue her for damages?
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Re: Sexual harassment allegation/ Immediate dismissal

Postby dls » Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:53 am

They do not have this rule and it is not in the contract


It may still be (gross) misconduct in and of itself.

A sales rep and a customer can between them undermine the relationship between the companies involved.
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