Laura Macdonald | Senior Associate

‘Whistleblower’ alleges culture of bullying at Government department

An image has emerged in the press of a woman taped to a chair and gagged in response to the fact that she had reported a culture of misogyny and racism in her workplace.

The incident is alleged to be part of a campaign of bullying and harassment at Marine Scotland. One of the perpetrators is alleged to have stated “This is what you get when you speak out against the boys.”

The matter has been taken to an Employment Tribunal and the claimant, DeeAnn Fitzpatrick alleges that she raised concerns with one of her managers and that her concerns were dismissed and not taken seriously. The manager in question stated that he would raise the matter directly with the perpetrators. He is alleged to have stated “I am sure they meant no harm and that was the boys just being boys.”

One of the perpetrators remains employed at Marine Scotland and was recently promoted. The other perpetrator is no longer employed by Marine Scotland and has been quoted as stating “These are false allegations. I can’t remember the event you mention, but if it did happen, it would have been office banter. Just a craic. Certainly nothing to do with abuse.”

As well as the incident involving the chair Ms Fitzpatrick alleges that she was mocked for having a miscarriage, subjected to extreme racist language and threatening behaviour towards female staff.

It must be noted that whilst there has been much press coverage and comment on this matter, no decision has been reached by the Employment Tribunal and Jackson Boyd will monitor this case carefully and provide updates.

If you have a concern about whistleblowing or discrimination in the workplace, the Jackson Boyd employment team have extensive experience of dealing with these issues, so please get in touch by clicking here or speak to a member of our specialist team on 0333 222 1855 .

Laura Macdonald

Laura Macdonald

Employment Law Team

“I strive to provide clear and practical advice to clients, focussing on the individual or organisation’s particular circumstances and requirements.”

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