Victim of sexual harassment ordered to pay

  • Thread starter Evo
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  • #1
Evo
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This is outrageous.

A young woman whose bottom was slapped in "fun" by her boss has now been ordered to pay her former employer $5000 in costs in the case.
Authority member Anna Fitzgibbon rejected those claims, calling Ms Newman an unreliable witness and questioning why she did not complain earlier.

The bottom slap was "inappropriate and should not be repeated" but took place during a joke, Ms Fitzgibbon found.

"Ms Newman was being cheeky about Mr Sanson's floppy hat and he slapped her on the bottom.

It was a one-off slap, which I accept was a 'fun slap'."

The authority has now ordered Ms Newman to pay her former employer a total of $5000 as a contribution to costs.
http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11377890
 
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  • #2
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Yeah, it looks like New Zealand is different from the US.
 
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  • #3
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Her boss, Bruce Sanson is kind of a tin foil hat guy. He shouldn't have tenderized the dead meat. It was a pain, not something amusing to dig up. :DD
 
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Making the lady pay would be appropriate if it was found she was lying, but it appears even the court admits that ass slapping at work happened, so pressing charges of sexual harassment shouldn't be considered an abuse of the system, unless ass slapping at work is considered always appropriate behaviour in NZ. I don't know, never been.
 
  • #5
256bits
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Tribunals for Employee/Employer grievances are usually set with a bias leaning towards the benefit of the employee.
If this case, since the decision came down against the employee, overcoming the bias, something about her complaint must have been blazingly apparant to the board to make that decision. In context, probably the correct decision.

Bum slaping is inappropriate, but not necessarily sexual in nature, nor decisively harrasement.
 
  • #6
russ_watters
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Yeah, it looks like New Zealand is different from the US.
Not knowing, I'm going to guess that it is typical for the losing plaintiff of a court case to pay the costs in order to cut down on frivoless lawsuits. I would support such a law in the US.

To me, the odd thing here is the apparently self a contradictory ruling: "inappropriate", but not harassment?
 
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  • #7
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It's a troublesome ruling. It's almost saying that you do something improper like a joke on your boss then it's okay for him to do something more improper like slap you where he wants.
 
  • #8
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http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11379063&ref=NZH_FBpage

One of the ERA's most contentious decisions occurred in November, when the authority's Anna Fitzgibbon found The Plant Place owner Bruce Sanson did not sexually harass former employee Ella Newman when he slapped her bottom.

The 23-year-old resigned the day after the incident in December last year and then alleged Mr Sanson had previously sexually harassed her during the two years she worked at his Hamilton garden centre.

However, Ms Fitzgibbon rejected the claims, calling Ms Newman an unreliable witness and questioning why she did not complain earlier.
Decisions reached by the authority can be appealed to the Employment (edited from High) Court.
To add insult to injury, in a decision published this week, the authority ordered Ms Newman pay costs of $5000.

She has indicated she will appeal against both decisions.
The determination can be read here: http://dol.govt.nz/workplace/determinations/PDF/2014/2014_NZERA_Auckland_525.pdf [Broken]
 
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  • #9
256bits
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It's a troublesome ruling. It's almost saying that you do something improper like a joke on your boss then it's okay for him to do something more improper like slap you where he wants.
One viewpoint is that, if an employee is doing jokes on the boss, or on any one else within the company, the employee may be subject to disciplinary action. Such disciplinary action could be a verbal simple "Cut it out". If the "jokes" continue, more severe measures would have to be implemented to ensure workplace continuity. If the boss lets the "joke" conduct continue, then he would be hard pressed to explain to a tribunal, why certain conduct was tolerated up to the point where the "joke" became the subject of legal action. In other words the managers of a company have the duty to provide a decent work environment. Failing to do so can affect the company's liability.

One may want to read this,
http://www.whatishumanresource.com/legal-definitions-of-Sexual-Harassment

In fact, the court determined several factors of a hostile work environment of which
  • Whether the conduct was physically threatening or humiliating, rather than just offensive
was to be considered. Inappropriate falls in the same catagory as offensive.

One also might want to consider the following
QUID PRO QUO Linking any condition of employment—including pay raises, promotions, assignments of work and work hours, performance appraisals, meetings, disciplinary actions, and many others—to the granting of sexual favors can be the basis for a charge of quid pro quo (meaning “something for something”) harassment. Certainly, harassment by supervisors and managers who expect sexual favors as a condition for a raise or promotion is inappropriate behavior in a work environment. This view has been supported in a wide variety of cases.

Sutton, a very smart guy, did link his testimony to praise on Ms Newman, and even demonstrated a showing of no ill will, by offering her job back, and thus negated Quid Pro Quid. Such a nice guy. And he even stated that "She was not his type" Oh, if we all had such simple and honest people around us and to work for.

Perhaps the board should see through him as well.
 
  • #10
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Very unappealing to see this happening in the world. My country has laws that heavily support woman. Had she been here, her boss would be in jail (unless he is a person with high social status that is). Even if she was lying (which is wrong, but to this extent laws supports woman at my country).

I say, I hope she won't get to pay that on the next case revisited since it was confirmed that such misbehavior did happen. That would be unjust, and I don't like unjust.
 
  • #11
Paul Takakjian
This proves that some places law does not support women.It is just unacceptable that women who was sexually assaulted and then had to pay for being assaulted.What kind of people think that to hit a women on his bottom is a part of joke?It only proves that those men hav eno respect for women who work with them.This matter should be reported to a good sex crime lawyer by the victim and drag the person responsible and make him pay for what he has done and also get her money back.
 
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