Fam­ily ‘hugely dis­ap­pointed’

Tri­bunal rules against N.L. woman at cen­tre of Scot­tish ha­rass­ment scan­dal

The Western Star - - CLOSE TO HOME -

The fam­ily of a New­found­land-born woman who al­leges she suf­fered a decade of ha­rass­ment at her civil ser­vice of­fice in Scot­land — in­clud­ing once be­ing taped to a chair — say they are dis­ap­pointed that a tri­bunal has ruled against her claim.

The BBC re­ports the Scot­tish Em­ploy­ment Tri­bunal ruled against DeeAnn Fitz­patrick’s com­plaints of a racist and misog­y­nis­tic work­place cul­ture.

A state­ment from her fam­ily says they are “hugely dis­ap­pointed” by the re­sult, al­though they are not sur­prised, given a judge had de­cided some ev­i­dence would not be al­lowed.

The fam­ily says the tri­bunal did how­ever high­light that the hu­man re­sources depart­ment could have been more proac­tive in deal­ing with the mat­ter by launch­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, ques­tion­ing staff and re­mind­ing staff that such mat­ters might be re­garded as grounds for dis­ci­plinary ac­tion.

Fitz­patrick, a fish­eries of­fi­cer orig­i­nally from Bell Is­land, claims co-work­ers mocked her for hav­ing a mis­car­riage, used racist lan­guage, and threat­ened fe­male staff mem­bers.

A photo pub­lished by the BBC in May showed Fitz­patrick taped to a chair with tape over her mouth — an in­ci­dent she claims was a re­sponse from two male co-work­ers at Ma­rine Scot­land’s of­fice in Scrab­ster for “speak­ing out against the boys.”

The im­age prompted an out­cry in the U.K. — Scot­tish First Min­is­ter Ni­cola Stur­geon said she was “ab­so­lutely hor­ri­fied” by the photo, and or­dered a re­view of Fitz­patrick’s case.


DeeAnn Fitz­patrick is seen, in an un­dated hand­out im­age, dur­ing an al­leged in­ci­dent where her co­work­ers taped her to a chair for com­plain­ing about ha­rass­ment in the of­fice.

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