The complainant alleged, among other things, sexual harassment by way of physical contact and sexually explicit text messages from a Mr. A another staff member.
She complained that while driving together Mr. A had said “come on…how about we pull over for a quickie” to which she responded “I don’t think so”. The complainant stated that he then put his hand on her leg and squeezed it and held her leg for some time and also put his hand on her breast. She also produced at the hearing a number of sexually explicit texts which she claimed were from Mr. A which the Equality Officer accepted were sexually offensive and humiliating.
The respondent stated at the hearing that the complainant regularly instigated sexual banter in the office. The Equality officer concluded on this point that there is “compelling evidence that the complainant herself instigated some of the incidences in the respondent organisation.”
On this basis the Equality Officer ordered the respondent to pay the complainant €1,000 by way of compensation for the stress suffered as a result of the sexual harassment.
Case: Ms. CL v CRM, Equality Tribunal, DEC-E-2004–027, 17/5/2004
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