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6 Jan 2020

Gordon Deegan, The Irish Times

Ireland: Labour Committee awards €20,000 to employee for ongoing workplace harassment

"Deli worker awarded €20,000 for almost daily sexual harassment" 1 Jan 2020

A female deli worker who was kissed on the neck against her will and pinched by a male colleague has been awarded €20,000 for ongoing sexual harassment.

At the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC), Adjudication Officer, Gaye Cunningham has ordered the employer, a supermarket, pay the worker €20,000 for the distress suffered by her and the effects of the discrimination and sexual harassment...

Ms Cunningham also found that the supermarket “failed to put appropriate measures in place to stop this harassment and sexual harassment from occurring or to reverse its effects”.

Ms Cunningham has also ordered that all staff within the supermarket company who have staff management functions receive appropriate training in its policies on harassment and sexual harassment and bullying and harassment...

The deli worker gave evidence that the alleged perpetrator physically assaulted her by pinching her, by trying to kiss her and at once point kissed her on the neck against her will. 

She stated that he made inappropriate sexual comments about young girls who came into the shop and when asked to stop as they were clearly young school girls, he stated that they looked old enough. 

The complainant gave evidence of incidents where she felt personally threatened when, for example, the alleged perpetrator pinned her against or near a fridge and made lewd and sexually suggestive comments to her.