Woman subjected to sexual harassment awarded £3.2m
A woman who said she suffered a mental breakdown after being subjected to degrading sexual harassment at work has been awarded £3.2m compensation.
Svetlana Lokhova earned £750,000 a year as an equity saleswoman with Sberbank CIB in London. She said that for four years between 2008 and 2012 she was systematically abused by male colleagues who tormented her with taunts that she was “mental” and a cocaine addict who lived off her father’s money. They also said that she only got the job because of the size of her breasts.
Ms Lokhova took legal action after she was eventually sacked by the bank. She said she had suffered a severe psychiatric collapse because of the way she was treated; her reputation had been shredded and she felt broken by her experiences.
The Employment Tribunal found that none of the allegations against her were justified. It said she had been unfairly dismissed after suffering disgraceful, gender-based harassment and victimisation. She was awarded just under £3.2m to compensate for lost earnings, hurt feelings and aggravated damages.
The tribunal pointed out that she had been awarded an extra £15,000 because she had been obliged to take a drugs test, which came out negative, to refute the bank’s allegation that she was an addict.
Please contact Jackie Cuneen if you would like more information about the issues raised in this article or any aspect of employment law.