Entico Corporation Ltd, a conference programmes publishing company based in Mayfair, a director of the company James Ramsay, and a sales director Darren Scott, are set to jointly make a “substantial” pay-out of up to £108,000 to two women sales executives after their manager Mr Scott allegedly subjected them to sexual harassment, making a claim against all three respondents for victimisation, sex and race discrimination, and whistleblowing; the claimants are also seeking compensation for injury to feelings and aggravated damages.

The Central London Employment Tribunal is due to hear a case brought by Claimants - Anna Mazover, 29, and Diana Nicholl-Pierson, 24, both whom allege to have been groped and told by their manager that they would “prosper within the company and get a promotion” if they had a threesome with their manager, Mr Scott, 53.

The Claimants started their employment with the company in May last year, and were dismissed within a month, on 14 June 2013 without notice. Whilst the respondents argued that the reasons for the claimants’ dismissal were poor performance and poor attendance records, the claimants argued that it was because they did not entertain the advances made by Mr Scott.

The Claimants, in their witness statements, claimed that Mr Scott would make working at the company extremely uncomfortable, often talking to them about having sex with prostitutes, visiting lap dancing clubs, taking cocaine and said that he would make comments in relation to their breasts, and had allegedly made advances to Ms Mazover saying, “please, I will give you gifts and money, just be my girlfriend or my lover”. Ms Nicholl-Pierson also alleged that Mr Scott had groped her bottom and stroked her thigh during a fire drill, which the tribunal also found.
Despite the claimants reporting him to Mr Ramsay and HR after telling Mr Scott they would do so if he did not stop, no action was taken; this lead to Ms Nicholl-Pierson to go to the police and making a formal complaint. Mr Ramsay subsequently called both women into his office and told them there were no grounds for their complaints, before dismissing both claimants without explanation or notice.
Mr Scott, a recovering alcoholic, told the tribunal that these allegations were “100% false” arguing that he would never have made such a proposition as it would be his “worst nightmare” because even with Viagra he is incapable of having sex due to suffering “erectile dysfunction”. He also said, “I can’t make love to anyone. I have felt like a real man in 12 years”.

The tribunal upheld the claimants’ claims for sexual harassment and victimisation against the company and Mr Scott but have rejected their sex and race discrimination claims. Whilst the tribunal chairman Dr Simon Auerbach said “we found that during the course of her time with the company, Mr Scott did habitually stare at Ms. Nicholl-Piersons’s breasts, the tribunal also found that they had invented claims that Mr Scott had pestered them for a threesome at his house and Dr Auerbach said that this was for the primary purpose of strengthening their own positions in a situation where their jobs were now at risk and or to retaliate against Mr Scott”.

The spokesperson for the defendant said that Mr Scott no longer works for the firm. The hearing is due to take place in September.

This gives employers a wakeup call in ensuring that they not only have a proper policy in place against sexual harassment in the work place and training employees, but also the importance of dealing with any allegations made to HR seriously and properly.
For further information, please contact Koichiro Nakada – Head of Japan Business Group (koichiro.nakada@lewissilkin.com) and Yoko Nakada - Senior Associate, Deputy Head of Japan Business Group (yoko.nakada@lewissilkin.com).
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