Leicester

Leicestershire Sainsbury's worker 'threatened to rape colleague'

Sainsbury's sign Image copyright PA Media
Image caption A tribunal heard the store "failed" in relation to harassment training

A former supermarket worker has been awarded nearly £10,000 in damages after a tribunal ruled a male colleague threatened to rape her.

The hearing was told the man approached the woman at a Sainsbury's store in Leicestershire and said: "I feel like raping you. I have an erection."

A few months earlier he told the same woman he had been having "wet dreams" about her.

The tribunal ruled the store "failed" in relation to harassment training.

Sainsbury's was ordered to pay £9,585 to the former sales assistant. The company has been contacted for comment.

'Sexy baby'

The employment tribunal heard the man, also a sales assistant, made the rape comment when the pair were alone and in close proximity in a warehouse in October 2016.

The man denied the allegation, claiming he only said "you woke me up", but the tribunal did not accept his version of events.

The woman said it happened three months after the same man told her in the canteen he had been having "wet dreams" about her.

The employment tribunal judge said: "There can be no doubt that the remarks constituted unwanted conduct and that they were of a sexual nature.

"They would clearly have the purpose or effect of violating the claimant's dignity and creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment."

An internal investigation found the man had previously called a female supervisor "sexy baby" and another "poster girl".

The judge said the man was "clearly someone who was known by local management to have something of a flirtatious nature".

The man was sacked by the company in January 2017 following a disciplinary hearing.

However, the judge also found Sainsbury's was liable for the harassment due to its failure to take action over the earlier inappropriate comments.

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