£16k for schoolgirl in Pizza Hut sexual harassment case

Pizza Hut have been ordered to pay £15,800 to a schoolgirl who was working as a receptionist in a Pizza Hut delivery branch after she won her sexual harassment case against the firm.

The claimant’s manager was said to have shaken food onto her face and clothes and tried to hold her hand, persisting even when she moved away. The manager was also said to have hugged her and whispered into her ear.   

The claimant rebuffed these advances, and as a result the manager shouted at her and found fault with her work.  

The Employment Judge found that the manager had created an environment that was “intimidating, hostile and humiliating”, especially considering that the claimant was still at school and this was her first job. She was awarded £13,000 for injury to feelings. 

In addition, the Judge awarded 15% uplift due to the lack of adequate policies and procedures in place to deal with sexual harassment cases and further compensation for loss of earnings and interest. 

Our advice 

This case highlights the importance of ensuring that employers have the right policies and procedures in place and ensure that staff are thoroughly trained on acceptable behaviour in the work place. With sexual harassment being so prevalent in the news at present, not only can any incidences be deeply upsetting for those affected, they can also result in serious reputational damage for employers.