Feeds

Porno blonde wins tribunal

MD made very inappropriate use of email

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.