Woman who waited six years to sue wins sex harassment case

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The Independent Online

A businesswoman stands to be awarded tens of thousands of pounds after an employment tribunal ruled yesterday that she had been sexually harassed by her boss in meetings after hours.

A businesswoman stands to be awarded tens of thousands of pounds after an employment tribunal ruled yesterday that she had been sexually harassed by her boss in meetings after hours.

The case made legal history after tribunal chairman David de Saxe agreed to hear the case six years after the events had taken place.

Robert Allen masturbated in front of Monika Sheridan, now 45, exposed himself to her, and showed her pornography. He also bombarded her withoffensive phone calls. Miss Sheridan, a mortgage adviser from Chatham, Kent, was so traumatised she did not take immediate action.

She said yesterday: "I'm glad to be able to put it all behind me and get on with my life. I'm grateful to everyone who has stood by me."

Miss Sheridan said Mr Allen, the financial director, gave her a job with Ward and Partners, in Chatham and Faversham, in July 1991. By 1993 she was increasingly intimidated by him.

She said in a statement to the tribunal in Ashford in June: "I would meet him for meetings and he would expose himself to me. I was afraid that if I reported him I would lose my job."

Miss Sheridan claimed sexual harassment, personal injury, disability discrimination and constructive unfair dismissal against Arun Estate Agencies, parent company of Ward and Partners. The tribunal upheld her claim of sexual harassment, but all the other counts were dismissed.

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