Equality and Anti-Discrimination Lawyers

In the Press

‘Love notes in the office’: Georgina Calvert-Lee explains sexual harassment in the workplace

WeAreTheCity, a website supporting the female job pipeline, published a blog article in time for Valentine’s Day by Senior Litigation Counsel Georgina Calvert-Lee on how to identify sexual harassment in the workplace when faced with romantic gestures. Calvert-Lee reminds readers ‘that harassment is when someone behaves in a way which makes you feel distressed, humiliated or threatened’ and that this behaviour is not always as overt as unwanted physical contact or demeaning language. Flirting and romantic gestures can also have this effect.

Harassment depends on context. In the case of love notes, Calvert-Lee suggests breaking the question into smaller pieces. Who’s the sender (colleague, old friend, or superior with a reputation for hitting on subordinates)? What’s the content (a message with discomfiting language)? The form (brief email or a special gift)? The recipients (are you singled out or one of many)? The delivery method (open and friendly, or secret and intimate)? And what’s the overall pattern of behaviour (one odd note, or many gestures that make you uncomfortable)? ‘No single factor makes that love note harassing’, Calvert-Lee continues, ‘It’s about how all the factors combine and make you feel in your workplace; how the messages are received by you’.

Calvert-Lee concludes by emphasising that employees should know that the law is on their side in redressing sexual harassment, and that they should keep copies of messages they think might be harassing: ‘You might want to talk to your HR manager, and it’s always good to have proof to back up what concerns you. No one is allowed to retaliate against you for making this kind of complaint’. 

I will always be grateful for your unwavering support of me. Equally, I will always be grateful for showing me how to find my voice and strength.

Title IX case against UCLA, client confidential

It was such a weight off our shoulders; suddenly somebody else with a lot more experience was managing the case.

Sandeep Mander, Mander and Mander v. Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead and anor

We really thought that there was nothing that anybody could do for us. We were wrong.

Dr Celeste Kidd, Aslin et al v. University of Rochester et al

To get the result you got you must be as tough with your legal opposites as you are kind and understanding to your clients.

AOA client, confidential

Compared with other law firms I’ve worked with, no one matches the combination that McO has of experience, brilliance, ferocious fighting and deep empathy for their clients.

Dr Holly Atkinson, Atkinson et al v. Mount Sinai Health System, Inc. et al

Because my case could not bear public scrutiny, a very powerful institution used massive financial resources to try to crush me for asking for my disability rights. This was a huge mistake, as they didn’t know that I would obtain McO representation. I couldn’t ask for better representation.

Disability Rights client, confidential

I would like to say from bottom of my heart, thank you. Thank you to all the team. Now I can go and forget my former employer. God bless you all.

Unfair Dismissal client, confidential