HR manager in sex bias tribunal

A pregnant HR manager was forced out of her £50,000-a-year job after being
told she would not be able to juggle a career with two children, it was alleged
at a tribunal last week.

Jacqueline Blanchfield, 34, who worked for American fund management company
Western Asset Global Management for 10 years, headed its British HR operation.

The company is contesting her claim for constructive dismissal and sexual
discrimination.

Blanchfield told the tribunal she was alarmed by the reaction of manager
Gavin James when she announced she was pregnant. She said, "Gavin made a
comment to the effect that I would not be able to perform my job with two
children."

She said James later suggested the firm might pay a settlement if she
resigned, and she was offered £10,000 with the possibility of negotiating a
further £3,000.

David Griffiths-Jones, for the company, said, "It is not sex
discrimination to state a woman will find it difficult to balance a family and
a career – it shows insight."

He said Blanchfield only lodged her claim because she was insulted by the
£13,000 settlement.

Judgement was reserved.

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