Kicking A Lion

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soldier awarded $380K in discrimination case

(London) A lesbian soldier who was subjected to long-term harassment from a sergeant who wanted her to have sex with him has been awarded nearly $380,000 by a British employment tribunal.

The amount was half of what Lance Bombardier Kerry Fletcher, 32, had sought, but is still one of the biggest payouts imposed by a workers’ rights board.

 

Fletcher testified that after the military did nothing to stop the harassment when the man and his army friends attempted to destroy her career and health.

Her car was vandalized, she was belittled at work and she received threatening phone calls.

Text messages from the sergeant to the woman were entered into evidence.  In one he told her: “Look I might be able to convert you. You don’t know what you are missing.”

Her tormentor denied he had discriminated against her, claiming he was only legitimately enforcing discipline. The Ministry of Defense denied it had swept Fletcher’s complaints under the carpet.

Nevertheless, the tribunal ruled in January that Fletcher had been the victim of “direct sex discrimination and harassment,” allowing her claim for monetary damages to move forward.

Fletcher, an accomplished horsewoman and 10-year career soldier, took part in the Trooping the Color ceremony and served with distinction in Bosnia.

“She is a completely innocent person whose life has been destroyed by the Army because she was rash enough to stand up for herself,” her attorney John Mackenzie said.

After the tribunal made its initial finding, Fletcher quit the military. Mackenzie told the remedy hearing that his client’s position within the Royal Artillery became “untenable” after she won her case against the Ministry of Defense.

Even though the MoD has apologized to Fletcher, “The claimant felt unable to continue to serve within the Royal Artillery because she felt she would continue to be victimized and discriminated against,” Mackenzie told the tribunal.

“The immediate consequence of the act of discrimination is that the claimant’s career in the Royal Artillery has collapsed and it’s the respondent’s conduct that has caused this collapse.”

The British military ended its ban on gays and lesbians serving in the armed forces in 2000.

–Courtesy 365Gay

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Written by kickingalion

December 2, 2008 at 5:06 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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