16-year-old female employee sexually harassed by line manager awarded over £15,000 in compensation (Ms H Sudra v Kash PH Limited & Mr K Jaffer, ET)
In the case of Ms H Sudra v Kash PH Limited & Mr K Jaffer ET/3201470/2017 the Employment Tribunal held that a 16-year-old employee had been sexually harassed by her line manager, awarding her over £15,000 in compensation.
The facts in Ms H Sudra v Kash PH Limited & Mr K Jaffer
Ms Sudra commenced employment with Kash PH Limited (“Kash”) on 1 August 2016 at the age of 16. She worked 10 hours per week and at the start of her employment was supervised by an employee named ‘William’.
In February 2017 William left the employ of Kash and Mr Sultan Tanha replaced him as Ms Sudra’s principal line manager; problems then started for Ms Sudra in the workplace, with Mr Tanha and Heshmat Golampour speaking to her rudely, starting arguments with her, and blaming her for things that she had not done or were not her fault.
The Employment Tribunal also held that the following occurred during the course of Ms Sudra’s employment:
- That Mr Tanha would attempt to high five her and hold her hand
- That Mr Tanha would come up behind her and whisper in her ear as an excuse to get close to her
- That on 16 May 2017 Mr Tanha hugged Ms Sudra, took hold of her waist in the region of her hips, looked her up and down, and then walked off
- That Mr Tanha, at some point between February and July 2017, threw leftover pizza toppings in Ms Sudra’s face
Ms Sudra rejected Mr Tanha’s advances and, as a result, he resorted to shouting at her and finding fault with her work. When Ms Sudra went to complain to Mr Golampour she was criticized for leaving her work station and not doing her work.
Ms Sudra resigned from her employment on 18 June 2017 after a further incident of harassment occurred. After this incident Ms Sudra sent a detailed grievance letter to Kash setting out her complaints of sexual harassment. There was a failure, however, to carry out any form of effective investigation, to address her complaints, and allow her to appeal against the decision.
Ms Sudra subsequently made claims in the Employment Tribunal for sex-related harassment and sexual harassment.
The decision of the Employment Tribunal
The Employment Tribunal held that Mr Tanha’s conduct constituted:
- Sex-related harassment
- Sexual harassment
- Less favourable treatment because of Ms Sudra’s rejection of Mr Tanha’s sexual harassment
The Employment Tribunal awarded Ms Sudra the following sums as compensation:
- Loss of earnings: £640
- Injury to feelings: £13,000
- ACAS uplift of 15%: £2,046
In total, the Employment Tribunal awarded Ms Sudra £15,773.16 (inclusive of interest).
Our solicitors’ view on Ms H Sudra v Kash PH Limited & Mr K Jaffer
Chris Hadrill, partner in the employment department at Redmans, commented on the case: “Employers must take care to promptly, fairly and effectively investigate any complaint of sexual harassment in the workplace – a failure to do so can, as in this case, result in extra compensation being awarded to a claimant (in respect of an unreasonable failure to comply with the ACAS Code of Practice).”
The judgment of the Employment Tribunal in Ms H Sudra v Kash PH Limited & Mr K Jaffer ET/3201470/2017 can be found here.