Why employers should not turn a blind eye to discrimination in the workplace
Publication: People Management
A recent case, involving a female banker, shows the potential cost of defending discrimination cases. The case demonstrates the grave risks and potential costs employers face if they do not deal with discriminatory behaviour in a timely and appropriate manner. The matter has been ongoing now for over four years and shows that prevention is certainly better than cure.
Last year Svetlana Lokhova was awarded eye watering damages in excess of £3 million after an employment tribunal found her employer, Sberbank CIB, had subjected her to a campaign of sex discrimination, harassment and victimisation. It has now been reported that she is pursuing a further claim – this time for libel against two of her former colleagues for damage to her reputation.
The facts in the case are extreme; Lokhova’s colleagues were reported as referring to her as “crazy Miss Cokehead” and “mad Svetlana”. The tribunal concluded it was unlikely she would ever work in the banking sector again. Of the damages awarded, £44,000 related to injury to feelings, and a further £15,000 was an award of aggravated damages relating to the tribunal’s finding…
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