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Umm, how is this sexual harrassment?

An NHS pharmacy worker who was sent home for wearing a dress deemed too short by her boss has won a sex harassment case.

Levinna Ola’s work outfits, which included hemlines three inches above the knee, prompted disapproving comments from colleagues and bosses, who claimed she had “issues of skirt shortness”.

One colleague told her she would “not have the guts to pull off” what she wore, while one manager claimed she was “unable to concentrate” at work because her dress was so short and she was “tall”.

An employment tribunal heard that after wearing outfits incorporating a “leather body belt”, Ms Ola was warned that under the NHS trust’s dress code she should not wear “revealing clothing”.

The pharmacy assistant said she felt “traumatised, embarrassed and degraded” by the comments and successfully sued over her claim that she was the victim of sex-based harassment and “body shaming”.

Appropriate clothing, by the rules set when you get the job, seems fair enough, no?

Juggs and Bulgarian Airbags can be lovely things but different rules for barmaids and dental assistants might apply?

16 thoughts on “Umm, how is this sexual harrassment?”

  1. Being unaware of what a “leather body belt” was my scholarly research a.k.a. Google led to various BDSM images which, if representative of this case, would raise the question of precisely who believed they were being sexually harassed by whom.

    In reality it’s probably just a bog-standard example of mean girls teaming up against the only fit one.

    The judgement seems to be “wear whatever you want” which will be music to the ears of the many NHS laadees although hopefully they will not go as far as the infamous Canadian teacher with his/her hot pants and size ZZ rubber teetees (hat tip to Carry on Screaming).

  2. What John says…

    Reading through the piece the only sense you get of the situation is that the lady in question ….upset… the more ..mundane looking.. specimens of NHS employ.

    Honestly.. the Pythons could have written this..

  3. “Body-shaming”? Really? Jealous middle-aged female colleagues saying (and we can easily read between the lines here) “I hate you ‘cos you’re so much prettier than me” is not body-shaming.

  4. It’s no longer possible to take “the finest health service in the world” seriously. In a major London hospital, in one of the new buildings carefully constructed in accordance with modern architecture (and hence impossible to navigate) my wife and I were unable to find the department we needed. I went to ask a rather large nurse seated at a desk for directions. Her back was towards me so unfortunately when I went up to her I said “Excuse me, miss”. I then discovered why government departments require everyone to state their pronouns.
    A big beefy prop forward sized bloke turned round and said in a deep voice “Wot?”. I was slightly taken aback by the beard (reminiscent of the bloke on the old Players fag packet) but managed to stutter the name of the department and ask where is it? Shrug and dunno was the response, so I ran away so I could laugh before I got a double hernia
    So a bird being sent home for wearing a short skirt seems just a bit silly…

  5. From the movie ‘Kingpin’ (the bowling one, not superhero or whatever) Woody Harrelson to Vanessa Angel – ” Half the dresses you got, you need two hairdos to wear”!

    If the female NHS staff I see are representative (excluding the lovely young thing who took my blood pressure yesterday), it sure seems like petty jealousy to me…….

  6. Many years ago I used to go to a dentist who had a cute dental nurse that did indeed make visits a little more tolerable. Back then the uniform was shaped around the contours of the body and the thin light coloured fabric meant that you could see her little white knickers through it.

  7. Bloke in North Dorset

    “ The pharmacy assistant said she felt “traumatised, embarrassed and degraded” by the comments “

    Perhaps the NHS should stop employing children and start employing people with some thick skin. There’s no wonder fuck all gets done if that’s the response to being told what to wear.

  8. It’s not sexual harassment, and that was not claimed. It’s “sex-based harassment” because she was subjected to rules that were not enforced againt men. The judge is quoted as saying “We conclude that wearing jeans to work also breached the First Dress Code Policy, just as wearing a dress with a hemline that is more than two inches above the knee breached the First Dress Code Policy” and the relevance is that the jeans-wearing was done by men.

    It seems a fairly straightforward case, as the article says “while one manager claimed she was “unable to concentrate” at work because her dress was so short and she was “tall”.”. There’s no excuse for a worker to get so distracted by a skirt which is merely three inches above the knee – they are clearly the problem and not the skirt-wearer.

  9. Back in the 60’s when I was a young man,the skirts were so short that knickers were nearly always in view when the girl bent over or even just sat down. In fact it was so common that the shock value was lost and only people like Mary Whitehouse ever bothered to comment. I once did have to ask the attractive young girl sitting at the desk facing mine if she would fasten another button oh her white shirt as I was distracted when she leant forward to pick something up.

  10. @Grist

    Similar experence – Sign beside main lift:

    This Lift Does Not Access Ward 7

    No other info

    Back to entrance, no reception desk. Back to lift. After asking many staff one said

    “I think you go up there, then down a narrow dead end corrider, then…”

    We eventually found it and while waitig read yet another “If You Are Sick, Go Home” sign

    When: August 2023

    NHS urgently needs dismantled and privatised

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