Feeds

Porno blonde wins tribunal

MD made very inappropriate use of email

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Reducing security risks from open source software

Female computer consultant Tao Ball has won her two tribunal claims against former boss Marc Garcia. She took Marc and his IT consultancy Kelros to the tribunal for unfair dismissal and sexual discrimination and won both unanimously.

Mr Garcia claimed Tao had resigned and denied any discrimination but was faced with several sworn testimonies from staff working for Kelros at the same time, which painted a very different picture. Marc was particularly keen on sending explicit pornographic photos to the staff. One such picture featured a clitoral piercing and was subtitled "Tao's next piercing" - she had just had a belly button piercing.

Female work colleagues said they were constantly the centre of sexually provocative comments from Marc in relation to their sex lives, clothes or anything else that came to mind. He also made frequent reference to Tao's possible lesbianism. One occasion that seems to stand out was the day after a Channel 4 programme called "The Clitoris" - part of its Private Parts series - was shown.

According to several witnesses, Marc arrived in the morning and launched into a half-hour rundown of the show, going into great detail and offering personal reflections while growing increasingly "excited". This was despite the fact that everyone in the office had stopped listening to him.

Male work colleagues also reported Marc's distinct difference in approach when dealing with male or female staff. One also spoke of conversations he had had with Marc regarding Tao when she wasn't there. He asked if he also believed Tao was a lesbian, informed the staff member that he had it on good authority that Tao wore a G-string and that her "arse is really tight".

However, it was the start of a relationship between Tao and the company's co-director Najeeb Sughayer that sparked the events that would bring them both to a tribunal almost a year later. Staff corroborated that Mr Garcia's attitude towards Tao changed markedly once he learnt of the relationship.

She was given a heavier workload and repeatedly criticised. Mr Sughayer warned Marc that sending pornographic photos was not suitable - especially if not asked for - but was ignored. Marc became increasingly worried about Tao's and Najeeb's relationship - at one point confessing to a colleague that he was worried Tao would own part of the business.

When things finally came to a head, Marc claims Tao resigned from her job but she maintains she was fired.

The tribunal concluded unanimously that Tao had not resigned but had been fired with no just reason. Therefore she had been unfairly dismissed. Regarding the sexual discrimination charge, it said: "We unanimously agree there was unlawful discrimination. Tao was the unwilling recipient of pornographic material which she could reasonably find offensive and did."

Tao's lawyer, Paul Archer of Lemon & Co told us: "The distribution of pornographic material to all employees, regardless of consent, is completely reprehensible. We are pleased our client was vindicated by this tribunal."

The case will now move to a second hearing in four to five weeks where the amount of compensation Tao is due will be decided. Her lawyer told us she was due compensation for loss of earnings, a basic award for unfair dismissal and more for injury to feelings, stemming from her upset from the unpleasantness of the situation at Kelros.

As managing director and owner of Kelros, Mr Garcia is under no obligation to sack himself. ®

Related Link

Kelros home page

Related Story

Porno blonde goes to tribunal

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!
Grim diversity numbers dumped alongside Facebook earnings
Bose says today is F*** With Dre Day: Beats sued in patent battle
Music gear giant seeks some of that sweet, sweet Apple pie
Amazon Reveals One Weird Trick: A Loss On Almost $20bn In Sales
Investors really hate it: Share price plunge as growth SLOWS in key AWS division
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
Too many IT conferences to cover? MICROSOFT to the RESCUE!
Yet more word of cuts emerges from Redmond
Chips are down at Broadcom: Thousands of workers laid off
Cellphone baseband device biz shuttered
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.