It is widely recognised that more needs to be done to improve gender equality in the work place, and this goal has been the focus of many different initiatives by Government, business organisations and equality groups.
Such initiatives include the recent introduction of gender pay gap reporting requirements, encouraging greater representation of women at senior management levels and providing greater rights to request flexible working.
However, despite all these efforts, true gender equality can still seem very far away at times, particularly when you read the reports in the media of the sexual harassment women continue to experience at work.
In one such case, which has been widely reported in the media, a woman who worked as a relationship manager for Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank in London has taken both the bank and her direct manager to an employment tribunal, claiming sexual discrimination, sexual harassment and constructive dismissal. The allegations have been denied by the company and her boss.
Suemaya Gerrard claims that her employer was aware that one of the bank’s wealthy clients wanted more than a professional relationship with her, and that she was being placed under great pressure to take of advantage of the situation to gain valuable business for the bank. She says she was threatened with dismissal if she didn’t attend a dinner with the client, the Daily Mail reports. She felt uncomfortable with the whole situation and believed she had been left with no option but to resign.
This case is currently ongoing, and we await the decision of the tribunal with great interest.
US Network Faces Multiple Claims
Sexual harassment in the workplace is by no means a problem unique to the UK, and unfortunately occurs throughout the world.
US media network Fox News has found itself embroiled in a number of high profile sexual harassment cases over the past few years. In fact, according to a recent report in the Independent, these claims have cost its parent company, 21st Century Fox, around $110m in a nine month period alone.
In addition to the financial implications, the claims have been costly for the network in other ways. One of the network’s star anchors, Bill O’Reilly, was dropped after it became public that around $13 million had been paid out by the network in response to allegations of sexual harassment made against him.
The CEO, Roger Ailes, resigned in 2016 after being focus of sexual harassment allegations, including a claim by one of the network’s female co-hosts, who reportedly received a settlement of around $20 million. Earlier this month the co-president, Bill Shine, also resigned. He had been named in several of the lawsuits brought against the network.
Alleged Pregnancy Discrimination
Only this month, three more women have brought lawsuits against the company, reports Forbes. Two have brought new actions claiming sex discrimination, while the third woman has joined an existing racial discrimination suit.
The sex discrimination cases include allegations of “sexually insensitive remarks” and also alleged pregnancy discrimination, as one of the women claims she was dismissed only three days after notifying her manager of her pregnancy. These claims have again been denied by the company.
At Lloyd Donnelly our solicitors are experts in dealing with sexual harassment complaints and have acted for many people who have suffered this indignity at work. We are compassionate in our approach and understand what you have been going through. Contact us today and our specialist solicitors can help you claim compensation for lost income and the distress you have suffered.