Woman takes case against B&Q Ireland for sexual harassment and intimidation

The former employee has already been awarded €30,000 by the Equality Tribunal

The B&Q store in Naas, Co Kildare:  a now 22-year-old was awarded almost €30,000 arising out of her treatment by a supervisor at the  store. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

The B&Q store in Naas, Co Kildare: a now 22-year-old was awarded almost €30,000 arising out of her treatment by a supervisor at the store. Photograph: Brenda Fitzsimons

Fri, Aug 23, 2013, 01:00


A woman who was given the maximum award of two years’ salary for sexual harassment by the Equality Tribunal is taking a High Court case for damages against her former employer, B&Q Ireland.

In the tribunal judgment published this week, the now 22-year-old was awarded almost €30,000 arising out of her treatment by a supervisor at the company’s store in Naas, Co Kildare. Her employer was not identified in the ruling but The Irish Times has established its identity.

In addition to the woman’s case, her mother, who worked at the same store, is taking a separate High Court personal injury claim against B&Q Ireland. They are being advised by solicitors Howard Synnott in Lucan.

The Equality Tribunal made the maximum award to the daughter after hearing her complaint of being sexually harassed by two supervisors, identified only as Mr B and Mr C.

At a staff party in January 2010, she said Mr B made suggestive remarks to her and attempted to force her legs apart.

The daughter, identified as Ms A and who was 17 when she started work with the company, is seeking compensation for alleged sexual assault, harassment, intimidation and victimisation at work.

Her mother (54), who succeeded in an action for unfair dismissal against the company earlier this year, alleges she was subject to harassment and bullying. B&Q Ireland has yet to file a defence to both actions.

In a statement B&Q Ireland said yesterday it did not comment on individual cases, but “we take all claims of inappropriate conduct by one of our employees extremely seriously. We always investigate such claims robustly, promptly and effectively and ensure that the appropriate action is taken”.