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Hotel ordered to Pay Fine £18,000 after Chef’s Sex comment

Hotel ordered to Pay Fine £18,000 after Chef’s Sex comment

A teen waitress at a four-star country hotel has won a compensation amounting to £18,000 after a head chef asked her if she would have sex with her in exchange for money.

The teen was left feeling ‘embarrassed and uncomfortable’ by his question, an employment tribunal heard.

She filed a complain about the inappropriate comment to her bosses at the Heritage Park Hotel in the Rhondda Valley, Wales.

But her complaint was not investigated and eventually managers stopped offering her shifts and removed her from a workplace WhatsApp group.

Now the tribunal has ruled she was the victim of sexual harassment and ordered the hotel, where an executive suite room can cost £200 a night, to pay her £18,409.

The tribunal in Cardiff heard the woman started work at the hotel near Pontypridd in July 2019 in what was her first job.

Whilst working a shift in the restaurant she entered the kitchen where a conversation of a sexual nature was taking place between some of her colleagues.

The head chef – who was not identified in the proceedings – then asked her: “Would you do it for money?”

She was ‘immediately embarrassed and uncomfortable’ by this comment and answered ‘no,’ the hearing was told.

She complained to the hotel – which describes itself as the ‘perfect choice for business conferences, romantic retreats and weekends away’ – the next day but received no reply.

She was left ‘confused’ about what to do after the company did not take any action following her complaint, the hearing was told.

She told the tribunal in Cardiff that she felt let down by the hotel – which is owned by MKK Hotels – as she has since lost her confidence and finds it difficult to trust managers and others in authority.

She added she is worried it is going to happen to her again at work and had asked her manager not to work with the head chef again.

She was then placed on furlough from April 2020 due to the pandemic but was told there were no hours for her when the hotel reopened in August – even though other waitresses returned to work.

She was also removed from the employee WhatsApp Group which was used for allocating shifts.

Employment Judge Claire Ward said of the chef’s ‘do it for money’ remark: “This was clearly unwanted conduct.

“It was of a sexual nature and had the purpose and had the effect of violating Miss Dimond’s dignity and creating an intimidating environment for Miss Dimond to the extent that she did not want to work with him again.”

Miss Dimond’s award included £5877.30 in compensation and £8,000 for injury to her feelings.

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