Labor & Employment
Record $26M for Bullied U.K. Lawyer
Posted Mar 13, 2008 1:50 PM CDT
By Martha Neil
A London lawyer who was harassed and bullied by her colleagues at an asset management firm has won a record judgment of a little over $26 million to cover her lost income and benefits, psychiatric care and damage to her future prospects. It is reportedly more than twice the previous United Kingdom high award in a sex discrimination case.
Although Gill Switalski was head of legal affairs at F&C Asset Management, earning nearly $300,000 annually, an 18-month ordeal began when a merger resulted in a new manager being given supervisory authority over her work, says the Telegraph. Now 51, she is unable to work because of her post-traumatic stress disorder.
Switalski says she was "systematically undermined, undervalued, bullied and marginalized," in part because of her need to work at home, on occasion, to care for two disabled children. However, the firm contended that even if she was being "micromanaged," this wasn't discriminatory.
She sold a family home for nearly $7 million to pay her legal fees to fight the case, the U.K. newspaper reports.