Sex case care worker loses tribunal fight

Scales of Justice
Scales of Justice

A CARE worker who undid the top buttons of a male colleague’s uniform in revenge after he slapped her bottom as she bent over a desk has lost her case for unfair dismissal.

Kelly Daley, 29, from Mexborough, initially laughed the slap on her behind off as ‘horseplay’ an employment tribunal heard, but then she decided to take ‘playful revenge’ against the perpetrator.

She accosted him in the laundry room of the care home where they worked.

She began undoing the buttons of his uniform while colleague Gemma Bartrop filmed them on her mobile, but was reported by the man, who accused her of bullying and sexual harassment.

He claimed his dignity had been ‘violated’.

Miss Daley and Miss Bartrop, 27, were sacked for gross misconduct.

A woman nurse who viewed the footage was also given a final written warning.

The man escaped with a ticking off.

He was also granted the legal right to anonymity after the tribunal in Sheffield decided the incident should be treated like a sexual offence.

Miss Daley claimed unfair dismissal against the owners of the private home in Rotherham, but lost her case.

She had worked there for more than eight years and had a previously unblemished record.

“I feel he has been treated far more leniently than me,”she told the tribunal.

“I feel I have been classed as a rapist.”

But the company claimed she had deliberately attempted to humiliate and demean the man.

Miss Daley said she was bending over a desk completing a time sheet in the office when the man slapped her bottom ‘quite hard’ and laughed.

She added: “I didn’t attack him, I just undid a press stud.”

Employment judge Martin Howard said it was an ‘unfortunate case’ and said he had ‘sympathy’ with the claimant. He said: “I’m satisfied on the evidence that this was a fair dismissal.”