Linklaters to face hearing over sexual harassment claim

Magic circle firm Linklaters will face allegations of sexual harassment in the employment tribunal next month following a judge’s refusal to strike out a complaint by a former staff member.

A case against Linklaters and a former male employee will commence on 15 June, according to decision by Employment Judge Glennie. A female complainant has made allegations of sexual harassment and/or harassment related to sex. The allegations arise from incidents which she alleges occurred while she was working at Linklaters’ offices between December 2018 and February 2019.

Both respondents dispute the complaints.

In judgment, EJ Glennie refused to strike out the claim ‘as a matter of discretion’, saying that ‘the tribunal does not lightly strike out a complaint of sexual harassment’. The tribunal vacated the full hearing on 26 January after ‘extensive failure by the claimant to comply with the tribunal’s orders’.

The judge ordered that the case be relisted for hearing commencing next month. The hearing will take place virtually before a full tribunal over four days.

However, the tribunal refused the claimant’s application for disclosure relating to the male respondent’s personnel file, stating: ‘Performance issues are different from allegations of harassment, or issues about the way in which a dismissal was conducted, and that it would be artificial to say that these all relate to “performance” in the job.’




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