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‘No-one will give me a job now’ – victim of sexual harassment
11:00am Friday 19th October 2012 in News
A CREWE woman who has won a sexual harassment claim against her former boss has said she has been unable to get a job after being fired.
Samantha Allen told the Guardian that her tribunal case against Christopher Barral – the owner of failed care firm Abacus Care (Cheshire) – has led to future bosses being put off employing her.
Mr Barral was found guilty of sexually harassing Ms Allen while she was employed as a therapist for Abacus Care (Cheshire) in 2011.
“When I apply for jobs I say I can’t get a reference and then I say I was fired and they just don’t want to know,” she said.
“Nobody wants to think about employing a person who has taken their boss to an employment tribunal and I can’t get a job as a result.
“I’ve been really lucky that my mum has been able to give me some money, as I was nearly thrown out of my house with my four-year-old.
“The hardest thing for me is that he kept saying he was the victim in all this. He emailed the court and said it was too hard for him to attend.”
But Samantha – who has had to pay out £8,000 just to take the action she has – said she was anxious about when she was going to be paid by Barral.
“For me though, I want to make sure that people know about this so he doesn’t try to do it again,” she said.
Christopher Barral, who lives in High Legh, was ordered to pay £24,655.41 to Ms Allen in a hearing held in his absence on Friday, September 28 at Manchester Employment Tribunal.
Ms Allen, 26, worked for Abacus Care (Cheshire) as an alternative therapist and support worker in the autumn of 2011.
After being employed for 19 days, Mr Barral decided to fire Ms Allen, after he decided she had not met the firm’s ‘expectations’.
She told the employment hearing – headed by employment judge David Franey – that she thought the real reason behind her dismissal was because of five situations that occurred while she was working for the firm.
She said on one occasion she spotted Mr Barral looking down her top, while on two other occasions he made her feel uncomfortable as a result of the topic of conversation.
In a one-sentence-long written statement to the court signed in April, Mr Barral said: “At no point did I, Christopher Barral, sexually discriminate against the employee Samantha Allen while employed by Abacus Care (Cheshire) Limited.”
Judge Franey decided on the ‘balance of probabilities’ that Barral had dismissed her because of her reaction to his behaviour during the five occasions mentioned during the hearing and as such believed them to amount to sexual harassment.
The judgement said: “The decision to dismiss her was therefore because of her sex and he would not have behaved in the same way with a male employee and nor would a male employee in comparable circumstances have been dismissed.”