A RECRUITMENT company manager who sent sexual text messages to a new female employee has cost his firm €25,000 in a victimisation and discrimination case.
The man, called Mr C, was the woman’s supervisor when she joined the recruitment firm in August 2005.
A month later, a number of staff members went for after-work drinks on a Monday night.
Mr C left the group to go to another pub but began sending messages to the woman, including a sexually explicit one at 2.06am.
He later argued that a friend had used his phone and that the messages were sent without his knowledge.
The woman did not turn up for work the next day, so Mr C sent her an email in an attempt to downplay his behaviour.
“Firstly, purely for fun [Mr B] and myself sent you a few texts for fun as I was made aware that [Mr J] and yourself have had a snog or two last Friday. Harmless fun and quite frankly none of my business,” he said.
However, an Equality Tribunal ruling published yesterday found his actions were not harmless and awarded the woman €10,000 on the grounds of gender discrimination and €15,000 because she had been victimised.
It did not release the names of any of the parties involved or identify the recruitment firm in question.
The Tribunal said it did not accept the man’s arguments and instead said the woman had been victimised, the company had failed to deal with her case properly and she was not given an appropriate complaint procedure because the man she was supposed to report problems to was the person who sent her the messages.
After the messages were sent on September 12, 2005 the woman did not return to work despite another worker attempting to back-up Mr C’s story.
Mr C decided not to give evidence when given the opportunity to do so by the Tribunal.
The woman subsequently contacted her solicitor and began to take a case against the company.
Mr C denied he had ever sent messages himself but that early in the evening another worker used his phone to contact the woman.
The Tribunal said on the balance of probability the woman was both victimised and discriminated against and on top of the award the company should pay her interest on the €25,000, backdated to September 2005.
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