Claims made by a West Midlands recruitment professional that her boss subjected her to a persistent campaign of sexual harassment, discrimination and victimisation have been rubbished by a male colleague at a Birmingham employment tribunal this week.
Earlier this month, 49-year-old mother-of-three Debbie Smith said she was forced to leave Pertemps recruitment group following a series of "humiliating" sexist remarks by the company's 61-year-old chairman Tim Watts -- including one comment when he said she looked like a "sexy nurse".
Last week, however, colleague John Smith (no relation) told the tribunal that allegations of a degrading environment for women were nonsense.
He said he attended the meeting at which Ms Smith alleges Mr Watts referred to her as a sexy nurse, but could not recall him saying anything out of line.
"She does have a long white coat with buttons," he said. "It did look like a medical garment a practitioner would wear, but I do not know if she was wearing it then."
As for alleged comments allegedly made by Mr Watts about the length of a leather skirt worn by Ms Smith, he said: "I'm sure no such remarks were made by Tim.
"A comment like that would have been completely out of context.
"Had he done so, it would have stuck out and I would have remembered."
He also cast doubt on Ms Smith's allegation that Mr Watts said she was "pretty then and pretty now", in reference to knowing her for around 25 years.
He said: "It was part of a long introduction. He [Watts] said we were fortunate to have her. He may have said she was 'attractive then and is attractive now' to give the impression of her."
But, he insisted: "It's nonsense that he created a degrading environment for women to work."
Instead, he explained Ms Smith lost her job because of "poor job performance".
"I did not believe she made the effort to adapt to the changing market and economic climate," he said.
Ms Smith is claiming compensation for loss of earnings, loss of pension contributions and injured feelings. Pertemps and Mr Watts have denied all allegations.
The tribunal continues.
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