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A tribunal has awarded a Highways England trainee £74,000 for sexual harassment after her boss sent her semi-naked selfies along with over 2,000 text messages after taking her mobile phone number from an application form.
In just two months, Grant Bosence flooded new employee Kim Beaney with unwanted and increasingly inappropriate text messages and sexual advances. When she reported the behaviour to HR, Mr Boscence said he could have her “killed and buried for £4,000”, and made it clear she needed him to get the job.
Ms Beaney said that having complained to HR she felt that she was not believed, and the tribunal found that she had “played along… as she felt she had no alternative”.
The tribunal ordered Highways England, Mr Bosence and another worker to pay out in November last year.
In the tribunal judgment, employment judge Elizabeth Heap ruled: “Mr Bosence made it clear that he wanted to have a physical relationship with her despite her referring on many occasions that she wanted nothing more than friendship.”
Judge Heap said Ms Beaney “found messages from him suggesting that they engage in physical activity and his attempts to kiss her upsetting, humiliating and offensive”.
In an interview with the BBC, Ms Beaney said, “When I first saw the judgement I cried. I had been asking myself, maybe it is me, maybe I’m acting in a way that attracts this attention.
“But I don’t feel like that now. Far worse things go on in the work place unreported. I hope people can read about my case and feel they too can fight for their rights.”
Sources: bbc.co.uk, 11 March 2020, ‘Highways England sexual harassment case win ‘warning to bullies’, dailymail.co.uk, 09 March 2020, ‘Highways England worker, 40, wins £74,000 for sexual harassment after boss, 53, sent her semi naked selfies and 2,500 messages calling her ‘hot’ and ‘sexy’ then threatened to have her ‘killed and buried’ if she reported him’.