Category Archives: Cases

Harassment Warning Notices

Picture of keyboard with harassment buttonI reported some time ago about a decision involving the retention of what are referred to as Prevention of Harassment Letters or Police Information Notices and a recent case has again shone the spotlight on how records of these are retained.

In R (on the application of T) v Metropolitan Police Commissioner [2013] EWCA Civ 192, the applicant T had been served with a ‘Prevention of Harassment Letter’ by the police after an allegation made by a neighbour of a single incident of insulting behaviour. Continue reading

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An Affair to Forget

picture of broken glass to illustrate broken relationshipIs there a duty of care to prevent an employee having an affair with a service user? No, according to the Scottish Outer House (the equivalent of our High Court) case of Shields v Crossroads (Orkney) [2013] CSOH 144.

Helen Shields was a carer for her husband and son who both suffered serious health problems. She herself was bi-polar and suffered from depression. Socially isolated and largely confined to the family home, she was struggling to cope. Continue reading

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Sex Discrimination and Vicarious Liability

Picture of puppet of PunchCan a claim for sex discrimination be brought against another employee alone and without also bringing a claim against the employer? Yes it can.

Most sex discrimination claims in the Employment Tribunal are brought against either the employer alone or the employer and the individual said to have discriminated. This is because an employer is nearly always vicariously liable for the discrimination and has the money to pay the compensation.

But, ‘nearly always’ is not the same as always. Employers have a statutory defence enabling them to avoid vicarious liability if they can show they took all reasonable steps to prevent discrimination.  And sometimes the claim cannot be brought against the employer at all. The case of Hurst v Kelly UKEAT/0167/13/DM is an interesting example of this situation. Continue reading

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No Second Bite of the Cherry

picture of cherry with biteCan a second claim for harassment be brought after a first one has been found to be out of time even where there are new incidents which are in time? In what might seem like a rather harsh recent decision, the answer was no.

In Agbenowossi-Koffi v Donvand Ltd t/a Gullivers Travel Associates UKEAT/0337/12/DM the claimant who was of black African origin complained in November 2009 that her supervisor had racially harassed her (the original complaint). In June 2011, she started proceedings in the Employment Tribunal. Continue reading

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The Vicious Litigation Circle

Picture of road sign showing man falling off cliffThe utterly brilliant Eddie Izzard does a riff about looking ‘cool’ which starts with a description of the fashion circle. The proposition is that most people are in the ‘normal’ area of the circle but some look increasingly cool until they reach a point, the top of the circle, at which they look utterly ridiculous. His version is a tad ruder and a lot funnier.

Reading the sad case of Nowak v Nursing and Midwifery Council and another [2013] EWHC 1932 (QB) it occurred to me that there is a similar phenomenon in harassment cases. Continue reading

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