WOMAN’S SEX TORMENT AT SALES SESSION WITH THE BOSS
A multi-million pound company failed to stop a financial director from continually sexually harassing four female colleagues, an employment tribunal heard yesterday.
Instead of going over sales figures, the boss Robert Allen, aged 31, exposed himself to 45 year old Monika Sheridan, told her to unbutton her blouse and showed her pornographic material during one to one meetings.
Mortgage adviser Miss Sheridan, of Chatham, Kent, was so psychologically scarred from the sexual harassment she endured during the after-hours sessions, she did not take action for nearly six years.
Andrea Scott-Lynch, representing Miss Sheridan, told the tribunal: “She went to meet him and he said he was not bothered about the sales figures.”
“He handed her a folder containing pornographic material. She asked him to stop. He was sitting behind a desk and Miss Sheridan heard him unzip his trousers”.
Miss Sheridan is claiming sexual harassment, personal injury, disability discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal against Arun Estate Agencies Ltd of Chatham.
The hearing in Ashford, Kent, was told that senior management were told repeatedly about Mr Allen’s actions.
Managing director David Lench told Miss Sheridan to write a letter to him to ask him to stop.
Finally action was taken and Mr Allen admitted the allegations to an internal disciplinary hearing, the tribunal heard.
He was allowed to resign after he said he was not feeling well.
Miss Sheridan resigned in January 1999 after she returned from sick leave. She had suffered a nervous breakdown in 1998.
The case made legal history – chairman David de Saxe used discretionary powers and agreed to hear it six years after the alleged events took place. The normal cut-off point is three months.
A decision will be announced later.
“Western Daily Press”