Carney v Rouf & Islam, 2 November 2004, Employment Appeal Tribunal
Carney was employed as a barmaid for four months at a restaurant that was partly owned by Mr Rouf. Carney left her job and subsequently brought a number of tribunal complaints, including alleging persistent sexual harassment against Rouf and the head chef, Mr Islam. These allegations were strenuously denied.
The tribunal, presented with two entirely inconsistent accounts, preferred Carney’s version of events, and found in her favour. Carney was awarded 1,500 compensation for injury to feelings. She successfully appealed.
The EAT concluded that the award was too low, and increased it to 8,500. The EAT highlighted a number of interesting factors that it thought should have been taken into account by the tribunal when awarding a suitable amount of compensation for injury to feelings in a sexual harassment case.
In particular, the court noted that Carney would have suffered far less indignity if there had been some admission from the respondents that they had breached sex discrimination legislation.
The fact that Carney was subjected to sexual harassment by the owner of the business, rather than a junior employee, should also have been taken into account when assessing the compensation.