Next worker wins harassment case

07-03-2007

Next worker wins harassment case
A payout of £124,000 could be awarded to a sales assistant after an employment tribunal ruled that she was unfairly dismissed by the retail group Next following homophobic harassment, This is London reports.

The Merseyside tribunal heard that Marlene Bielak was called a "f***ing dyke" by former colleague Katrina Davies, 27, who also played a song called All The Lazy Dykes by Morrisey every time Ms Bielak went into the stockroom of the shop.

The disagreement between the two women came to head in December 2004 when Ms Bielak dropped a crate of merchandise on the floor near Ms Davies - a practising Jehovah's Witness - who reacted with a violent outburst.

Ms Bielak commented: "It is not about the money, it is about getting justice, not only for me but for all those other people who are being discriminated against because of their sexuality.

"This woman was allowed to physically push me, she shouted and swore at me, called me a "f***ing dyke" in front of other colleagues and harassed and bullied me because of her religious beliefs.

"She shouldn't have been allowed to get away with it and Next shouldn't employ people who force their prejudices on others."

The decision pertaining to the compensation will be made in July 2007.

Related categories: HR / Recruitment.


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