When office banter becomes harassment…

When employees go to work, they expect to enjoy a healthy and positive working environment and often that includes a bit of banter between employees. But when does banter become inappropriate and move to harassment?

A recent tribunal has ruled an employee at pub chain Green King had been the victim of sexual harassment by her former employer when her line manager made a joke which she found uncomfortable and inappropriate. The employee resigned and claimed both unfair dismissal and sexual harassment. The tribunal dismissed her claims of unfair dismissal but unanimously ruled she had been the victim of sexual harassment and an award of £5,000 was ordered.

Melanie Stead, Managing Director of Optimal PBS, a HR outsourcing and consultancy business said “It is critical for employers to educate their workforce on acceptable behaviour in the workplace. It is not acceptable for employees to come to work and feel uncomfortable at office banter. The boundary between banter and harassment, even when it is unintentional and not directed at a specific employee, is a fine line and therefore employees should tread very carefully.”

Read the full story on People Management at: https://www.peoplemanagement.co.uk/news/articles/pub-manager-wins-harassment-claim- poor-taste-sexual-innunendos-boss

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