A few weeks ago, I posted an article regarding sexual harassment in the workplace. You can view the previous article here.
Since then, the Harvey Weinstein scandal has been gathering momentum as there is a new allegation on a daily basis as well as some of the big Hollywood stars who are now having allegations levelled against them for allegedly committing sexual harassment and/or sexual assault.
What is clear from the news reports and articles that are coming out, is that the complaints that are being raised by alleged victims is historical sexual harassment and/or sexual assault.
If you have an employee who is raising historical sexual harassment issues in the workplace then again, you as an employer must take this very seriously.
We are all aware that for an employee to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal, they only have 3 months from the last act of discrimination to do so.
Let’s say that the last act of discrimination and/or sexual harassment occurred for example in 2012/2013 then that employee will be out of time, correct?
Not so. In employment law, there is the just and equitable rule. Therefore, a potential Claimant can bring a claim and argue that it is just and equitable in the circumstances to bring a claim out of time. This is a high burden to overcome and whether a claim can be submitted out of time depends on the facts and circumstances of the case. However, Judges may be minded in the interest of justice to allow the claim to go through.
Therefore, it is imperative, that you impart to your managers, that if there are any allegations of historical sexual harassment/sexual assault, this must be investigated thoroughly and properly.