A gay man who claimed his feelings had been hurt after a colleague wobbled her breasts at him has been awarded more than £62,500 compensation.
Allwyn Rondeau, 47, received the payout after an employment tribunal ruled that he had suffered discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation. The panel heard how in early 2006 colleague Lucy Chilton, then 42, placed the Heathrow security guard’s hand on her breast, then told him he ‘wouldn’t know what to do with a woman anyway’.
The tribunal was also told that she repeated the sentiment to him on a second occasion, this time pressing her body against his and shaking her breasts. He did not initially report the incidents but Miss Chilton reacted to his rejection of her advances by falsely accusing him of inappropriate sexual behaviour. He was ‘frogmarched’ from work, stripped of his pass and suspended.
This claim was rejected after an investigation but when he decided to complain about Miss Chilton’s harassment she was not suspended from security firm G4S. Mr Rondeau successfully sued Miss Chilton and company boss Brian Johnson for discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation for the initial harassment and the different ways in which the two complaints were handled.
Learning of his compensation settlement yesterday Mr Rondeau said: ‘I’m pleased about it but it wasn’t the money that was important.
‘It was justice that I wanted, against her and the management, for what I have been through every day for the past two years.
‘I’m happy but I’m still angry because I know she has not been touched.’ From being a sociable figure who organised evenings out for colleagues, Mr Rondeau has been diagnosed with depression, is on medication and barely leaves his bedroom.
His partner Bernard Shearman, a former London Underground train driver, was medically retired from his job with stress. He is Mr Rondeau’s registered carer at their home in Paignton, Devon, where they moved to sever links with the Heathrow area. The tribunal in Reading in January and February last year heard how Mr Rondeau was also called a ‘batty boy’ at his work at Terminals 1 and 4. Tribunal Judge Richard Byrne said on the subject of how G4S conducted its investigations: ‘Mr Johnson was aware that the claimant was homosexual prior to Lucy Chilton raising a grievance.’
Dr Neil Brener, a consultant psychiatrist at the Priory Hospital, North London, wrote of the effect of events on the claimant: ‘Clearly Mr Rondeau has been through a very traumatic experience.
‘He feels he has been treated like a criminal, even though he has been exonerated.’ He added: ‘This lady’s attitude severely distressed Mr Rondeau and left him quite traumatised.’ A spokesman for G4S Aviation Service said: ‘We can now confirm that the employment tribunal hearing concerning Mr Allwyn Rondeau has been concluded and Mr Rondeau will be receiving compensation. ‘G4S Aviation Service operates to the highest industry standards and will continue to ensure that these high standards are maintained.
‘I can also confirm that Lucy Chilton is the same rank she was at the time of the allegation.’ – dailymail
The company boss, it seems, did not consider that some women make up very spiteful lies when they are rejected. It’s all about respect and it goes both ways.