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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Employment Law
Satisfied Customers: 61109
Experience:  Qualified Employment Solicitor
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I was sat in empty office with male manager. I thought

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Hi. I was sat in empty office with male manager. I thought meeting was over but he said I had to go in to his adjoining empty office. He then shut door that was normally wedged open. We sat down and he ordered me to put my hands on the desk. I did as I was scared and he then reached across and held my hands ..said I was great..missed me over hols etc. He then said everything is ok, to which I agreed as I wanted it to be over..he then let go and went to next meeting. Can this constitute harrasment?

Hello, my name is***** am a qualified lawyer and I will be assisting you with your question today.

Can I just check, is this the first incident of this kind and have you reported it to your HR department or another manager within the business?

Can you also please tell me how long you have worked there for?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I have worked there 26 years. He has worked there 4 years and has been my manager all that time. I recorded the incident and confided in colleagues (also text message which was kept) but didn't tell HR at the time as I was scared and thought I wouldn't be believed

Thank you. I will get back to you with my answer as soon as I can, which will be at some point today. The system will notify you when this happens. Please do not reply in the meantime as this may unnecessarily delay my response. Many thanks.

Many thanks for your patience. this won’t be ‘general’ harassment because for this to happen it must have occurred on at least two occasions. In this case, an isolated incident will not amount to harassment.

However, there is another form of harassment, sexual harassment, which comes under discrimination legislation, and which can occur even if it has only happened once.

Sexual harassment occurs when someone engages in unwanted behaviour which is of a sexual nature and which has the purpose or effect of:

· violating a person’s dignity or

· creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment for the person.

‘Of a sexual nature’ can cover verbal, non-verbal or physical conduct including unwelcome sexual advances, inappropriate touching, forms of sexual assault, sexual jokes, etc.

So if there were sexual connotations to this behaviour, it could potentially amount to sexual harassment under the Equality Act 2010.

Does this answer your query?

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