Law within the business work place settings are paramount in order to bring about and maintain organisation, promote the safety and convenience of individuals and to assist regulation of relationships within the workplace. When everyone abides to the law that has been enforced there is usually harmony, it is only when the laws are breached that serious problems occurs. This text will consist of legal advice for a female employee who worked in a bar (by the name of Frankie) and was subject to sexual discrimination and unfair, hostile treatment from the manager and landlord of her workplace.
The discrimination occurred at a work related party after working hours. Direct and indirect discrimination from friends of the landlord was also used to make her feel uncomfortable. The main issues raised by the situation are unfair treatment, sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, inadequate support from her employee to rectify the problem and the breach of the Human rights act (1998) To be classified as an employee there must be a contract between the individual (employee) and the employer.
All employees work under a contract for services. Within a contract there are expressed terms and implied terms. Expressed terms are written into the contract and agreed by all in question, whilst implied terms are not written. Implied terms of the employer refer to issues such as dealing with grievances promptly. Frankie's employer (the landlord) failed to take any action towards rectifying the problems highlighted of the sexual insults raised. When a complaint was made by Frankie, he "laughed it off.
" This would be seen as an inappropriate response to a serious allegation by the tribunal. There is a duty to exercise reasonable care for an employees' physical and psychological well being. The landlord is guilty of failure to care for Frankie's psychological well being as he made out that she was the one with the problem by saying she was so sensitive. He failed to put her mind at ease that the problem would be appropriately addressed and dealt with. In addition he failed to exert his authority during the incident to stop the discrimination continuing.
Within the implied terms there is a duty to preserve trust and confidence in the employee/ employer relationship and Frankie's employer failed to do this. Also there's a duty not to act in any way that may damage the relationship; the landlord's actions where contrary to these terms and were in-fact directly damaging to the relationship. In light of all this, Frankie's employer was in the wrong. The advice for her would be to take action against her employers' wrong doings. There is a strong chance she could make a claim to an employment tribunal for sex discrimination.
The employment tribunal is an independent judicial body that attempts to resolve disputes between employers and employees. It is advised that Frankie should take her complaint to the employment tribunal because of the benefits involved. By taking it to the tribunal, the case can be resolved speedily. A case may take many years to reach court and usually cases reach the tribunal within weeks or months of initial proceedings. A tribunal would be less intimidating for Frankie as the procedures are less formal than those of ordinary courts and also the money involved would not be too much.
There is no real need for legal representation and the panel generally consist of specialist individualist so there would be no need for specialist eye witness. Despite these advantages it may be difficult for Frankie to make a claim based on breach of implied terms in the employment contract. This is because there is no hard evidence that suggests that her employer agreed to comply to such terms; nothing was written down or signed so it would be difficult to make a claim based on these grounds.
Part time employees, such as the case of Frankie, are protected by the part-time Workers (Prevention of Less Favourable Treatment) Regulations. (2002). This labour law was enforced in the UK to ensure that employees on a part time contract receive an equal pay salary to people on full time contracts doing identical jobs. It is important and worth looking at in Frankie's case as it is an attempt to eliminate sex discrimination due to the fact that part time workers consist of mainly female individuals. Frankie can also base her case on other grounds in order to improver her chance of claiming.
The Equal treatment directive (2002) states that there should be no form of direct or indirect discrimination aimed at individuals (on the grounds of sex) within the private or public sector. The amendment in 2002 introduces concepts of sexual harassment (of various forms). It emphasises that they are forms of discrimination that violate the principles of equal treatment. The situation that occurred with Frankie was a perfect example of discrimination, with discrimination meaning to single someone out and subject them to unfair treatment on the basis of prejudice. Frankie was subject to both direct and indirect discrimination.
Direct discrimination is obvious and overt. Frankie experienced this through the loud comments made by the bar manager when he stated she had only been employed because she wore mini skirts. Another form of direct discrimination came in the form of the offensive text messages sent to her containing sexist suggestions. Indirect discrimination occurred through the passing round of photos which was done by her employers' friends. Advice to Frankie would be to keep the offensive text messages and use them as evidence to show that she was subject to direct discrimination.
Frankie can build her case on the issues of harassment. Council directive 76/207/EEC is the foundation of EU law focused on the areas of gender equality in employment. Directive 2002/73/EC of The European Parliament and of the council puts emphasis on two forms of harassment. One being harassment related to sex and the other being harassment of a sexual nature. It defines harassment as: "unwanted conduct related to the sex of a person occurring with the purpose or effect of violating the dignity of a person and of creating an intimidating, hostile degrading, humiliating or offensive environment. "