Sexual Harassment Solicitors - Birmingham Employment Compensation Claims

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Behaviour and language used to support a case of sexual harassment is subjective. The common definition is "unwanted conduct based on sex affecting the dignity of women and men at work." Ultimately because it is a subjective test the victims interpretation is the one that counts. If you believe that the questionable words or conduct was sexual in nature and it was unwanted, you should consider instructing an employment solicitor who can attempt negotiate a settlement with your employer and if that fails make application on your behalf to the Birmingham Employment Tribunal.

Statutes

No distinct statute exists that covers all issues of sexual harassment however the Birmingham Employment Tribunal will consider the following statutes in coming to a decision after representations submitted on your behalf by your solicitor:

  • Sex Discrimination Act 1975
  • Employment Rights Act 1996
  • EC Equal Treatment Directive 76/207

Incidents that are extreme in nature, such as sexual assault including fondling and kissing should be considered as criminal conduct under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997. An employment solicitor may consider issuing civil proceedings in the Birmingham County Court to obtain enhanced compensation against the perpetrator.

What Constitutes Sexual Harassment

Quantifying sexual harassment can sometimes be difficult due to its subjective nature. Some behaviour or conduct can easily be quantified as improper or unsuitable, such as touching inappropriately, lewd jokes, unasked for attention, sending risqué texts or emails, which will all be judged as sexual harassment by the Birminghan Employment Tribunal.

Below is a list of known offenses that were judged actionable by an Employment Tribunal:

  • asking or begging for sexual favours
  • suggestive comments or gestures
  • threats or conduct involving sexual violence
  • fondling & other undesirable, unasked for touching
  • jokes that are sexual & inappropriate
  • watching or looking at pornography (websites or pictures)
  • unprovoked sexual advances that are unwanted
  • comments that are vulgar or lewd
  • sexual overtones or hints
  • repeated bothering for attention
  • displaying suggestive or obscene material

Preservation of Privacy

The Employment Tribunal is normally a public conclave; however, it will sometimes take measures to shield the claimant’s identity from public scrutiny. In the case of significantly explicit claims, a tribunal might order a "restricted reporting order" to ensure that innocent individuals remain anonymous.

Statutory Obligations for Employers

The law requires all employers to educate all workers about the policy regarding sexual harassment in the workplace or at work-related activities. This policy should contain informative explanations for the proper methods of handling suspected harassment of a sexual nature. Management can be held liable in the case of harassment performed by employees, even if management is not directly involved, and/or they neglect their duty and responsibility to take proper steps to correct the employee accused in a sexual harassment complaint.

The Equal Opportunities Commission put together a list of suggestions for employers to clarify sexual harassment preventive measures:

  • initiate a clear and concise policy to prohibit sexual harassment
  • monitor the policy regularly and make necessary revisions to ensure continued effectiveness
  • communicate and educate all employees about the policy and make sure it is understood and enforced
  • take accusations of sexual harassment as serious and vigorously examine the facts, while being sensitive to the effects it will have on the victim and in the workplace
  • let your actions be their example and hold managers and supervisors accountable

Legal Advice

Our employment law solicitors deal with compensation claims heard by the Birmingham Employment Tribunal by using the risk free no win no fee scheme. You do not have to pay anything upfront and in the unlikely event that you do not receive compensation, you will not be charged any legal costs. If you would like legal advice without further obligation from an experienced employment solicitor just call the helpline or complete the contact form or email our offices.

SOLICITORS HELPLINE 0345 515 0362