A POSTAL worker is seeking compensation for unfair dismissal against the Royal Mail after denying he bullied and sexually harassed a woman employee.
Robert King, of Oak Road, Barton-under-Needwood, made his compensation claim at Birmingham Employment Tribunal against the Royal Mail Group at Lichfield after 26 years of ‘unblemished service’.
The tribunal was told by Ian Hartley, representing the Royal Mail Group, that after the woman made an official complaint about bullying and sexual harassment by Mr King, he was suspended pending an investigation, and eventually sacked for gross misconduct.
Mr King denied the accusations, described the dismissal as ‘harsh’ and said the allegations had been ‘blown out of all proportion’.”
He also alleged he had been victimised and accused the Royal Mail at Lichfield of using the allegations to ‘get rid of him’ instead of making him redundant, thus avoiding redundancy payments.
“Others have already lost their jobs,” he said.
“I was in the wrong place at the wrong time and my appeal hearing was nothing but a sham.”
Mr King said ‘a lot of banter’ took place at the sorting office and Mr Hartley agreed that another male employee was with Mr King when the woman came to collect bags of mail.
“I have been punished for what the other man did,” said Mr King.
Mr Hartley accused Mr King of making a sexual remark as the woman crouched down to collect the bags.
Mr Hartley alleged Mr King told her: “While you’re down there...”.
But Mr King said the woman interrupted him before he could finish what he was saying.
Mr Hartley said the woman alleged both men started laughing and she felt humiliated.
The tribunal was told that the woman left and when she returned Mr King was alleged to have said: “She’s back for more.”
Mr King said the other man had touched the woman on her head, which he thought was going too far.
Amanda Nahoo-Robinson, representing Mr King, said he had an unblemished working record over 26 years and that customers had said what a nice man he was.
Tribunal Judge Miss Sheila Woffenden is due to make a decision at a later date.