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Applegreen woman awarded £6,000 over sex harassment claims

By Adrian Rutherford

A woman who claimed a male service station colleague made offensive and sexually explicit comments towards her has been awarded £6,000.

Jodie Jones, a student formerly employed part-time by Applegreen, said she was made to feel humiliated.

She has now settled a sexual harassment lawsuit against her ex-employer.

The case, which was assisted by the Equality Commission, was resolved without any admission of liability.

Jodie alleged that a male colleague made the comments while she was working.

She further claimed that she reported the incidents to her manager immediately and had hoped that they would be dealt with appropriately.

Jodie said she made to feel was embarrassed and uncomfortable while working.

"I started working in Applegreen when I was 17," she explained. "I just wanted to earn some money while studying.

"I was really pleased to get the job and delighted that it worked around my college timetable.

"Things were going well until a male colleague made sexual comments that made me feel uncomfortable and embarrassed.

"Later, during the same shift, he made more comments and I was humiliated by what he said.

"I reported the incidents to my manager and she replied that all she could do was apologise."

Jodie discovered her complaints had not been passed on to the store director, so she told her parents what had happened. "They were extremely concerned and they accompanied me to the shop the following day," she said.

"My family and I felt that my manager was not dealing appropriately with the serious issues I had raised. I felt I had no option but to quit my job."

Anne McKernan, from the Equality Commission, said: "It is shocking that young women continue to feel they are being sexually harassed in the workplace in 2016.

"This is not acceptable behaviour and must be eradicated."

Without any admission of liability, Applegreen apologised to Jodie and expressed regret for her distress.

The company also reaffirmed its commitment to ensuring staff are protected against sexual harassment.

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