‘Laddy’ work Whatsapp group was so degrading to women it got two men sacked

Two men fired for sharing ‘sexist banter’ on WhatsApp are suing their former employers for £300,000.

Paul Wells and Robert Solari compared female colleagues to women they saw in porn and discussed ‘muffs’ and ‘private parts’.

They say they were wrongfully dismissed over the messages from a logistics firm in Surrey, London’s High Court heard.

Their messages were sent to a group WhatsApp with one worker who they targeted being referred to as D.

Solari, 36, set up the group and posted a picture of a woman showing her vagina. Someone in the group responded to it saying ‘face like Katie Price and a muff like D’.

Wells, 36, posted a video of a woman masturbating and Solari responded ‘D in a wig, isn’t it?’.

The messages were only discovered when a former employee handed in their old work phone.
Both men deny misconduct saying that the reasons for their dismissal were blown out of proportion to deny them of shares owed to them worth £150,000 when the company was acquired by Cathay.

They claimed that the messages stopped following the take-over and the only reason for them being sacked was so Cathay would not have to pay out.

But the company claims offensive messages were being shared until January 2019, two years after the takeover, and accuse Solari of using gambling and porn websites at work.

The pair told bosses in January this year that they wanted to cash in their shares but were ‘summarily dismissed’ in March. As a result their shares were practically worthless.

Speaking for the company, barrister Edward Levey said: ‘The members of the group were accustomed to sending each other crude, offensive sexist and pornographic messages.

‘Not only did the members of the group make offensive and sexist comments about women in general, but some of their offensive remarks were directed at certain specific female employees of PNC.

‘The female employees who were being discussed on the group were not aware of what was being said about them behind their backs but if they had known, the women in question would have been horrified.’

 Mr Wells responded: ‘I think ‘horrified’ is the wrong word.
They would have been pissed off about some of the comments that were made. ‘It was a jokey office.

The two women in question would also make reference to the blokes in the office and take the piss out of the blokes.’

Talking about the group after the takeover he said: ‘The chat diminished. It stopped when we were acquired by Cathay.

 ‘I said to the guys ‘what has been going on in this group, we’ve got to tone it down’.

 ‘The office was a very blokey laddish office. There was some bad language in the office and a few people pranked each other. ‘I’ve known these guys for a long time.

That culture that we had was a great one. ‘I’m not saying these videos were right, but they were just sent for amusement.

This was just a lads’ group.’ The hearing continues.

Source: Metro.co.uk

No comments:

Post a Comment