A former counsellor at relationship support charity Relate has been awarded £8,000 in damages following an employment tribunal in Leeds.
Sandra Goad claimed the charity forced her to resign in 2009 after she was falsely accused of breaching a client's confidentiality.
Although the charity eventually exonerated her of misconduct following an 18-month investigation, it refused to inform the original complainant of its decision, which Ms Goad said undermined her position and left her with no option but to leave after 20 years service.
The tribunal found the handling of the complaint to be "manifestly unjust and pretty much indefensible on any rational basis". It also said there was "a clear risk to Ms Goad's professional reputation in not correcting the original decision and communicating it to the complainant, where the complainant was free to spread this false information to whomsoever she wishes."
A counsellor found to have been "unjustly" treated by her bosses, has revealed that her ordeal to clear her name was worse than cancer.
Following the ruling, Ms Goad said: "It's a bittersweet feeling to have won this case.
"I am devastated to leave Relate, an organisation that I believe makes a positive difference to so many lives in the local area. However, I felt I had no other choice given the way my employers treated me."
Meanwhile Nick Shillito at Relate said: "We were disappointed with the ruling of the employment tribunal.
"At our centre we work hard to balance the happiness and well-being of our counsellors, who are the backbone of what we do, and our duty of care towards our clients.
"In this particular case, we had to prioritise our duty of care to the client, which is paramount to the work that we do."
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