Faggot. Puff. Fairy. These are just some of the words that former Energy Consultant Dan Robson would hear on a daily basis at his job at Northern Gas and Power in Leeds. Robson was just awarded £36,707 after an employment tribunal found evidence of constructive dismissal and harassment related to sexual orientation and post-employment victimization.
Robson worked at the company for six months beginning in January 2019. The abuse began on his first day in the office when he heard,
“Great, there is a f***ing b*nder in the office.”
The abuse continued as Robson heard comments like “two men having sex is unnatural and not right,” and a manager telling him he wanted to start a,
“Straight Pride’ in retaliation for gay people rubbing Gay Pride in his face.”
Judge Rogerson in his ruling said,
the culture in the Leeds office was accurately described as toxic involving daily use of racist, homophobic and anti-Semitic language, which some managers and senior employees actively engaged in, treating it as acceptable banter between friends and colleagues.”
Robson spoke to Energy Live News about the abuse and the settlement,
“It has been a very stressful situation. So, I am relieved that it’s over. And I am pleased with the response that the judgment had to find in my favour on all counts.”
He also discussed how the amount of money he won is not all that much considering,
“The cost of the claim was so significant. I was only 26. So I did not really have much money behind me, had a few thousand pounds. So a large chunk of the money that has been spent on defending the claim has come from my family. Thankfully, I am in a fortunate position. My parents had a bit of money put aside but even then the money put aside was not enough. They had to remortgage their home in order to get additional funds so that we could defend the claim.”
Robson heard that after he resigned a colleague sent a text to other colleagues reading,
That’s both gays, all blacks, and ‘ethnics’ gone. Good cleanse if you ask me.”
ELN reported that the abuse was so significant that “the judge also ordered the company to pay a financial penalty to the Secretary of State to the sum of £18,353.501 pursuant to section 12A Employment Tribunals Act 1996.”
This writer agrees with Robson and thinks that given the severity of the abuse the judge should have awarded him more money. A lot more.