Factory Worker Awarded £10,000 After Boss Wrote Her Sexist Birthday Message
A factory worker whose boss wrote her a message about her breasts on her 40th birthday card has won £10,000 ($13,193) in compensation.
Lisa Vickers, now 42, was handed the card after it was passed round for workmates to sign.
Inside the card, admin manager Dave Ravenscroft had written: "Lisa it's your birthday, I bet you're thrilled to bits, but not as much as I would be if I could feel your TxxS!!!"
She said that 58-year-old Ravenscroft waged a campaign of sexual harassment against her at the biscuit factory where she worked in Ashton-under-Lyne, near Manchester.
Although she quit the job as a production operator in March this year, she said the final straw came when he leered at her 17-year-old daughter.
Vickers compared Ravenscroft to TV comic Benny Hill, saying would stand outside the gates smoking and glaring at women.
She told the tribunal he would also make comments on his rounds across the shop floor each day, with remarks including: 'How big are your tits?', 'Can I put my head between them?' and 'I bet your husband enjoys them'.
She claims he also said: "If you go out for a drink, would you let me buy you one? Would you let me do anything else?'"
Colleague Pal Debbie Dooley agreed 'touchy-feely' Ravenscroft was 'too friendly with staff'.
But the boss said his comments were not made in a sexual way and Ms Vickers, joined in banter.
Upholding her sexual harassment claim, the tribunal awarded £10,000 for injury to feelings. It rejected claims of victimisation, constructive unfair dismissal and racism.
In a written ruling, Judge Tobias Ryan said: "In our judgment, comments that are made directly to or about a person who hears them, and are about personal sexual attributes such as their breasts or bottoms, are of a different character from general lewd banter in which people participate in the workplace from time to time.
"The fact that a woman engages in such banter does not mean that she will not consider personal remarks unwanted."
After the hearing Ms Vickers described Mr Ravenscroft as 'a dirty little old man' and said he should have been sacked.
She said: "I can't believe he got away with it for so long. It was when he made the remark about my daughter - it was the last straw. I didn't find it funny.
"Fair enough I had to put up with it, him going on about my boobs and everything, but my child doesn't.
"He slapped other workers' bums, he touched them and they liked it and they got upset that they had to write a statement about it for the tribunal.
"I have male friends that wouldn't dream of doing what he did to females."
Featured Image Credit: SWNS