A former sales executive for marine supplies firm Cathelco appeared before an employment tribunal in Sheffield yesterday and alleged her boss put female staff across his knee and spanked them, encouraged women to grab his genitals at work and viewed sex toys and blow-up dolls on the internet in full view of colleagues.
Angelina Ashby, 40, from Chesterfield joined Cathelco in June 2003 and told the tribunal that Peter Smith was appointed her line manager in September 2006.
She said: "I was subjected to a continuous course of mistreatment...
"Peter Smith would often make me feel uncomfortable and on one occasion took his time to view sex toys, such as blow-up dolls, on the internet.
"He was more than aware I could see his screen as I sat directly behind him and seemed to take his time viewing the website.
"He also used to sit female staff on his knee and stroke their hair and would stand behind their chairs to do the same. I found it disconcerting and uncomfortable."
She added that Mr Smith "successfully encouraged" female staff "to grab his genitals".
Ms Ashby is claiming constructive dismissal, sex discrimination and pay discrimination against Cathelco, which supplies products to the marine industry to prevent metal corrosion and barnacles and algae sticking to sea vessels.
She says that in addition to Mr Smith's conduct, staff teased her, talked about her in a derogatory way, sent emails about her, excluded her from office banter and drew insulting cartoons about her weight.
She submitted a formal grievance, which management investigated, but ultimately not to her satisfaction so she resigned in October 2008.
Cathelco and Peter Smith have denied all allegations.