Gay church worker awarded £35,000 in sexual harassment case

A gay church worker who quit his job after less than a year on claims of sexual harassment has been awarded more than £35,000 at employment tribunal.

Stephen Price, 25, said he was constantly teased about his sexuality by his 40-year-old “sex obsessed” female boss, Mair Jones. He claimed every conversation he had while working as an assistant church centre manager at the Presbyterian Church in Wales turned to sex, involving innuendos or double entendres.

The Cardiff-based employment tribunal ruled that Price was discriminated against because of his sexuality. It also upheld his claims of constructive dismissal.

During the tribunal, Jones described herself as “the queen of innuendo”. But Price recounted several moments at work where he felt he was victimised because he was gay.

Price told the tribunal: “Every conversation would somehow end up being a conversation about sex. I asked for a big ruler and she responded: “Ooh, you like them big do you?” in obvious reference to a man’s penis size.”

Employment judge Rachel Davies said: “We accept [Price’s] evidence of Mair Jones’s conduct. He started as a cheerful and enthusiastic young man and there is no evidence of a vindictive side to his nature nor that his claims were fabricated.

“Mair Jones treated him less favourably than if he were a heterosexual man. She subjected him to considerable harassment,” according to the BBC.

Price was awarded £11,924 for constructive dismissal and £25,000 for injury to his feelings.

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