Female employee sexually harassed at work settles claim against employer and goes on to be awarded a further £51,022 in compensation (to be paid by the work colleague who harassed her) (Ms H Kone v Mr F Gomis, ET)
In the case of Ms H Kone v Mr F Gomis ET/3200387/15, the Employment Tribunal held that a female employee who was sexually harassed at work was entitled to £51,022 in compensation, to be paid to her by the work colleague who harassed her. This was in addition to a sum of £45,000 paid to her by her employer Thompson Reuters (“TR”), for the sexual discrimination she experienced at work which was settled on the second day of the liability hearing.
The decision of the Employment Tribunal (ET)
Miss Kone settled her case against her employer, TR, for a total of £45,000, on the second day of the original liability hearing.
Ms Kone won her case for sexual discrimination harassment against Mr F Gomis. The Employment Tribunal found that she was psychologically imprisoned and isolated by Mr Gomis’ conduct and that she was trapped in an invidious situation. The Employment Tribunal also held that a period of no pay resulted directly from Mr Gomis’ conduct towards Ms Kone.
The Employment Tribunal awarded Ms Kone £51,022 in compensation, comprised of:
- Loss of earnings: £39,622
- Injury to feelings: £10,200
- Costs for tribunal fees paid: £1,200
Ms Kone’s award for injury to feelings (when combined with the sum she received from TR in respect of the same) was in the middle of the top bracket of the Vento/Da’bell bands to reflect the severity and persistence of the sexual harassment Miss Kone experienced during the course of her employment.
When considering the award for loss of earnings, the Employment Tribunal took into account, amongst other things, the effect the EU referendum has had on recruitment. However, they refused to award Ms Kone the 6 month losses she claimed from the date of termination of her employment as there was no medical evidence in support of such a claim. Instead they awarded just 15 weeks. For the same reason they rejected her claim for separate damages for freestanding personal injuries, in addition to the injury to feeling compensation she was awarded.
Lastly, the Employment Tribunal did not make an award for aggravated damages because they did not consider that Mr Gomis’ defence to Ms Kone’s grievance and Employment Tribunal claim constituted an all out attack on Ms Kone.
Our solicitors’ views on the case of in Ms H Kone v Mr F Gomis
Sacha Barrett, as associate in the employment department at Redmans, made the following comment on the case: “This case highlights that Employment Tribunals can and will make large awards against individually named respondents where the claimant has already settled against their employer. It also shows that Employment Tribunals are mindful not to award compensation for the same loss twice under separate heads of loss.’
The decision of the Employment Tribunal in Ms H Kone v Mr F Gomis 3200387/15 can be found here.