Hair-touching costs pounds 500

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A manager who touched a woman's hair was fined pounds 500 for sexual harassment at an industrial tribunal yesterday.

The tribunal in Reading, Berkshire, was told that the manager of an international freight company based near Heathrow, west London, begged the married female assistant to go out with him and then asked if he could touch her hair.

The panel was told that the incidents between the two individuals, known as Mrs A and Mr X, occurred over a period from December 1993 to early 1994. It was revealed at the tribunal that the events came to light after Mrs A was denied a pay rise in March last year. She complained to the managing director that she felt the refusal was because she had rejected her manager's advances.

The panel rejected Mrs A's claims of discrimination over pay and that grievance procedures for women were insufficient, but awarded Mrs A pounds 500 damages against Mr X for sexual harassment.