Office Parties - who needs them?

Presumably the answer is employment lawyers given two case reported this week:

Firstly The Times reports Chi v The Investors Club Limited :
He drunkenly groped her at NYT nightclub in the West End of London in December that year. She said: “He made unwanted advances towards me, including caressing me on a couch, even though I made it clear I wanted to go home.“He started to caress my back and asked me to stay a little longer. I said ‘no’, but he kept insisting and continued to caress my back for the duration that I was sitting there. He offered to pay for a taxi for my colleague and said he would take me home personally at the end of the night. Again I declined his offer.”

The Tribunal disabused the boss of his belief that an email saying " Someone's got the hots for you" was "lighthearted banter". The financial award has yet to be made but will be high.

The second case Richard Fleming v Jabil Circuits Ltd. Fleming was asked to organise the annual bash for his department, paid for by the company. 10 staff were expected to attend. He was given a cash advance of £150, booked a restaurant and advised everyone of the time and place. However only 2 turned up including him. Rather than wonder why everyone disliked them, they decided to have their meal, drink two or three bottles of wine which had already been opened, then go on a bar crawl part of which was not with co-workers. The next day the organiser of this very social evening submitted an expenses claim for £144 to one manager and eventually told another manager that only one other person had turned up. He was sacked for spending almost £300 on himself, another coworker and friends. The Tribunal awarded him £13,000 for unfair dismissal - having reduced the award as he was partly to blame for the dismissal in not telling his boss immediately that only 2 people turned up. Sometimes it's safer for mangers to shake their heads and laugh rather than get gung-ho.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Absolutely, I believe us employment lawyers are probably the ones that do best from the Office Party. Its funny though, our parties are never that interesting!!