The Halifax Courier reports a Leeds employment tribunal has withdrawn to consider its verdict on Haley Tansey’s claims of sexual harassment and constructive dismissal against HBOS.
As reported in December, Ms. Tansey worked for HBOS for 17 years and alleges a male colleague tricked his way into her hotel room during a business trip by telling the night porter he was her girlfriend. She said she had no choice but to resign from her £39,000-a-year “dream” job due to stress induced by the “harassing and laddish culture” at the bank.
On the last day of the hearing, Damian McCarthy, on behalf of HBOS, said that Ms. Tansey was “no cowering wallflower.” “This is a woman who was assertive in the workplace, not an individual who was frightened or scared of reporting misconduct.” “The claimant didn’t actually believe these were acts of sexual harassment at the time they allegedly occurred,” he added.
He also dismissed Ms. Tansey’s allegations about the behaviour of male colleagues as “exaggerated, embellished and untruthful” and said she had been inconsistent in her evidence.
Meanwhile, Ceri Widdet, for Ms. Tansey, criticised HBOS for “the total lack of a proper investigation” into her clients allegations. “She did complain to numerous managers, but none of them followed the guidance set out. Nobody appreciated how serious the complaints were and there was a wholehearted failure to appreciate just how difficult it can be, especially as a female, to make a complaint of sexual harassment because of the impact it might have on their future career.”
The tribunal is expected to deliver its verdict within the next few days, so stay tuned…
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