Kurt Bayer

Kurt Bayer is an NZME. News Service reporter based in Christchurch.

Sexual harassment forced bar manager out of job

File photo / Thinkstock
File photo / Thinkstock

A Christchurch bar manager forced out of her job has won a $26,000 payout after claims her boss sexually harassed her were upheld.

The woman quit after being reduced to tears by the bullying man known for his "off colour comments" and crude jokes.

And when the worker raised her concerns, including accusations he'd harassed a 14-year-old employee, it was laughed off by management.

The offender did, however, stop his sexualised antics but instead began bullying the woman in different ways.

He micro-managed her every task, made her a cleaner, and "badgered" her by monitoring bar till transactions on his home computer, the woman claimed.

Now, the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has ruled that she was unjustifiably dismissed.

"Employees should not be subjected to such behaviour and when they raise their concerns those should be acted upon," ERA member Michael Loftus concluded in his determination.

Both parties have name suppression.

The woman had taken time from her studies to take up a bar job in February 2011 in a "desperate" bid to fund further studies.

She was soon offered a managerial role with a pay boost from $13.50 an hour to $16.

But she never received the extra cash, and instead was subjected to the inappropriate behaviour of her unnamed boss.

Meetings with management did not resolve the situation.

After almost five months, she resigned and launched her claim.

Mr Loftus was in no doubt that the woman, known in his judgement as 'K', was constructively dismissed.

"There is no doubt the comments were of a sexual nature, they were unwelcome and offensive and they detrimentally affected K's job satisfaction. She was sexually harassed," he said.

He ordered the bar to pay the woman $16,640 in lost wages, a further $8000 in compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity, and injury to feelings, as well as $1408.05 as recompense for unpaid wages.

- APNZ

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