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Boss sacked for harassment wins payout

An employment tribunal has awarded a £14,000-plus payout to a London Underground manager who was sacked for sexually harassing a female colleague. The payment was made after it was found that bosses took too long to dismiss him.

Mr Olushola Adenusi, 59, told a woman known only as C1, that he wanted to sleep with her and that he could tell she was fit by her body shape. Disciplinary proceedings were followed though, and he was dismissed from his post.  

At a subsequent employment tribunal it was found that the decision to dismiss him was reasonable but that the 16 month investigation period was considered too long and that as a consequence it was unfair. The individual, Mr Adenusi, had been suspended on full pay from 16th August 2017 until his employment was terminated for gross misconduct on 5th December 2018. The Tribunal concurred with London Underground’s decision that he was guilty of sexual harassment however they ruled that the delay between suspension and firing left him “in a considerable state of limbo for much longer than necessary and was “unacceptable”. 

The hearing was told that in August 2017 he had put the woman through a “tortuous” two-hour return-to-work interview at Tottenham Court Road station in central London after she had recovered from surgery. The interview should have taken half an hour. She said she spent at least 45 minutes being asked questions of a sexual nature and quizzed about her anatomy. She said that medical questions posed by Mr Adenusi were “unnecessary” and involved “inappropriate questions and comments”. 

Employment judge Richard Nicolle, sitting at Central London Employment Tribunal, said of the return-to-work interview: “He said that it was important that she gets better after her gynaecological surgery as ‘she would need to please her future husband’, that she looks like she kept fit as you could tell from her body shape, and that when the claimant had first seen her, he had thought ‘wow’ and had wanted to sleep with her but having found out that she was in a relationship he had now had to control his thoughts.”

The former customer services manager took legal action against London Underground after he was sacked for gross misconduct on the grounds of unfair dismissal.

Mr Adenusi won the case and will receive a payout of £14,478 based on his 17 years of service. 

 

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