HUGE AWARD IN BANKER SEX DISCRIMINATION CASE
LUKE HUTCHINGS >
PartnerWed 8 April 2015
It has now been revealed that the former City worker Svetlana Lokhova, a trader at the London branch of Russian bank Sberbank (CIB) UK Limited until 2012, was awarded around £3.2 million pounds at a “remedy hearing” this year, which determined the amount of damages she should be entitled to as a result of her successful sex discrimination claim against the bank. The major part of the hearing was determined in the summer of 2013.
Not all of Ms Lokhova’s claims were successful, but the Employment Tribunal Judge, George Sigsworth, and his panel had agreed that the company had discriminated against Ms Lokhova and that had prompted her resignation. She was awarded a very large sum of money which was attributable to past and future loss of earnings, injury to feelings, psychiatric injury, and a further exceptional award of aggravated damages, which followed cross-examination at the hearing by the bank’s representatives which was “high-handed” and “malicious”.
The size of the award was increased because of the relatively large remuneration that Ms Lokhova had enjoyed, and also because of the very severe depression and psychological damage which Ms Lokhova suffered, due to the bullying campaign waged against her. It is a much larger sum than a Tribunal would normally award, but despite the amounts involved, the Judge found that the facts in the case were actually quite straight-forward. The conclusions that we can draw from the outcome of this case are similarly clear-cut.
Luke Hutchings, Head of Employment at Taylor Rose Law, commented, “while the size of the award in this case is remarkable, at the heart of this case is an employee who ‘did not suffer fools gladly’ and a number of colleagues who set out to make her life a misery. The Judge found that being referred to as ‘Miss Bonkers’ and ‘crazy Miss Cokehead’ was part of a continuing act of discrimination which has proved extremely costly to the employer. Diversity and inclusion at work should not be mere catchphrases but an attitude to live by for all employers and their staff. Managers should watch out for employees being singled out and intervene before matters end up before an Employment Judge.”
One of the employment specialists at Taylor Rose Law LLP would be happy to discuss this with you further. Call us on 01733 333 333 for a no-obligation chat.
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