Law firm defends compensation payout

The
employment law firm that represented a car saleswoman awarded £178,500 in
damages for sexual discrimination after one week in employment has defended the
size of the payout.

An
employment tribunal awarded the sum to Angelica Graham, 23, after she was
physically and verbally sexually harassed at Beadles car dealers in Sevenoaks
where she worked for a week as a trainee in June 2001.

The
total damages amounted to 20 years’ salary at her then-income. It brought an
outcry from some industry experts who fear the rise in ‘compensation culture’
is crippling business.

However,
Gerald Newman, solicitor practice director at Cloisters, said that the extent
of the harassment had devastated Miss Graham and the award was not out of line
for what the courts would normally award in psychological injury cases.

He
said the payment covered injury to feelings, injury to health, costs of care,
loss of earnings and aggravated damages because of the seriousness of the
sexual harassment.

"Any
sensible employer will have written procedures regarding equality and what
should happen if there’s any kind of bullying. This is a big payout, but
warning shots need to be fired at employers sometimes," he added.

Comments are closed.