London-based Louise Coasts has been ordered to pay £20,000 after losing a claim she made against her bosses of the TV cartoon series The Amazing World of Gumball for harassment. It was decided that she must pay this sum of money to Great Marlborough Productions even though they originally demanded £170,000.
The two-year legal battle, that resulted in Ms Coasts having to pay the programme makers, was due to a claim that she was sacked when she raised harassment issues and accused one of the producers of making a sexual comment to her. She also claimed that they stole the credit for her work. However, an Employment Tribunal ruled Ms Coats’ claims were without merit.
It was thought that Ms Coasts was wasting public money and time by prolonging a listing battle against Cartoon Network.
What should employers know about harassment in the workplace?
Whilst employers should be aware that if an employee feels as though they have been subject to harassment at work they are entitled to take action, the case above proves that this claim can be found to be without merit. Often, it can be difficult to establish whether harassment has actually taken place or if the behaviour is something less serious. For this reason, all cases have to be considered on an individual basis.
Harassment can take place in many forms and employers should really be aware of the specific meaning of the word under the Equality Act 2010. This law protects employers against harassment as a result of age, disability, religious belief, sexual orientation, sex, marriage or gender reassignment and ethnic or national origin, colour and nationality.
It is also worthwhile being aware of the Protection From Harassment Act 1997 in this regard too as it does not specifically define harassment the way the Equality Act 2010 does, so it may be used where the Equality Act 2010 cannot be. Even though causes made against behaviour that is prohibited by the Protection From Harassment Act 1997 can be difficult to establish, employers should still expand their knowledge of this Act.
How can employers learn from this case?
The above case clearly shows that a claimant will not always win the case that they have taken to the Employment Tribunal. If, as an employer, you know that the claimant’s case is based on flimsy evidence or absurd claims, which seemed to be the case in Ms Coasts’ case, it is still worthwhile ensuring that you still take advice from an employment law specialist and exercise caution to ensure your argument is strong.
When following all of the correct legal steps and ensuring you play things by the book, you can trust in the justice systems and know that the Employment Tribunal will ensure that the claim is handled correctly. If you are ever unsure how you should act in a situation where an employee is making a harassment claim against you, it is always best to turn to an expert to prevent any potential further issues arising.
To find out more about Employment Tribunals, how they work and why you should always have professional representation, visit the Nationwide Employment Lawyers website today.
Nationwide Employment Lawyers
If you find yourself in a situation where you require assistance regarding a harassment claim that is being made against you, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team here at Nationwide Employment Lawyers. We understand just how stressful and time-consuming it can be trying to deal with an Employment Tribunal claim, so let our experienced team help you by shouldering the burden.
With over twenty years of experience in employment law claims behind us, you can guarantee that the team here at Nationwide Employment Lawyers will provide you with an efficient service which, in turn, will be lower in cost than if you were to turn to another firm. Of course, you can still relax knowing that this service will be an extremely high standard and you will never have to worry about the quality of care or knowledge provided by our team. Contact us today to speak to a member of our team about harassment claims in more detail.