Sexual Harrassment Claim Is'ridiculous', Says Boss

The Birmingham Post (England), December 23, 2010 | Go to article overview

Sexual Harrassment Claim Is'ridiculous', Says Boss


Byline: MATT LLOYD

millionaire businessmanAAlaunched a scathing at -t tack on a former employ -y ee who has accused him of sexual harassment. Tim Watts, chief executive of recruitment firm Pertemps Group, told a Birmingham employment tribunal his anger at accusations he called a pounds 90,000-a-year executive a "sexy nurse".

Mr Watts dismissed allegations he sexually harassed former managing director Debbie Smith, aged 49, as "ridiculous".

Giving evidence for two days this week, he denied claims he asked the Sutton Coldfield mother-of-three to call him before she took a shower, told offensive jokes and introduced her to colleagues as "pretty" and made a joke about her bringing sex-x ual harassment claims.

Telling the tribunal he based his business on professionalism and family values, he said: "At Pertemps we don't tolerate 'isms'," he said.

"Racism, sexism, ageism or religiousism.

"I'm very passionate about this and treating people equally. It is ridiculous to suggest I would say anything that would demean or undermine her. I deny all these allegations against me, in particular violating her dignity and creating a hostile environment."

Miss Smith made the allegations after being dismissed as managing director of subsidiary firm CNA in June last year after the franchising business made a loss of pounds 250,000.

At an earlier hearing she said told the tribunal she dreaded seeing Mr Watts.

But this week he said during her employment, which lasted less than a year, he never spent more than an hour alone with her.

Accused of carrying out a vengeful investigation into Mrs Smith's past, which he said uncovered an affair with a boss at a former job with a previous employer, Mr Watts said the probe had been justified in spite of his anger at the allegations. …

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