Case Review: Female PA wins unfair dismissal claim after affair with boss

The chief executive of a property business who sacked his 32 year old PA after a 3-year affair faces a significant payout after she won a claim for unfair dismissal.[1]

The affair between the PA and the chief executive who was some 20 years older than her, lasted for 3 years. During this time he gave her a car, a flat and took her on holidays to Australia and Cuba.

The employer is alleged to have asked the PA to arrange a threesome with an Australian employee, offering to help with a Visa if she agreed to a ménage a trois. Their affair began in 2008 when she began working for the company. However when his wife found out about the affair through an anonymous Christmas card in 2010, the boss sacked the PA, telling her “don’t you f****** come back”.

The London Central Employment Tribunal heard the unfair dismissal claim. Evidence was heard that the employer would walk around the office making inappropriate and sexually suggestive remarks to female staff. The Tribunal concluded that his comments were “foul and objectionable” and that he had been “insensitive to the offence this behavior could cause among the female staff”.

The Claimant alleges that her former lover had offered her a £50,000 tax-free redundancy sum to leave quietly, but she had refused.

The Tribunal ruled that she was unfairly dismissed and had been subject to harassment [2] but her claim for sex discrimination has failed.