Charity employee awarded £90,000 after sexual harassment left her with PTSD



Tribunal hears woman felt “powerless” and feared for her safety following verbal and physical abuse

A former employee at an anti-abuse charity has been awarded £90,000 after a prolonged campaign of sexual harassment by her manager that left her suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Ali Khan, founder of Glasgow-based charity Roshni, verbally and physically abused a female employee, the tribunal heard. The harassment began after the employee rejected Khan’s advances. Khan then reduced her working hours and issued a final written warning – but refused to let her leave her job.

Khan then made “sexually explicit remarks” to the employee, the tribunal heard. He also threatened to reveal intimate details about her to her family and post a video of them online in an attempt to “damage her prospects”. He also allegedly made threats of violence towards her family.

The charity did not intervene and, as a result, the employee installed an emergency police telephone line in her house.

Tribunal chair Emma Bell said: “We wish to record our disappointment that a charity which uses public funds to raise awareness about abuse finds it acceptable to allow the chief perpetrator of very grave acts of victimisation to continue his involvements in the activities of the organisation.”

The tribunal heard that the employee, who cannot be named for legal reasons, has since been diagnosed with depression and PTSD. Khan’s threats left her “very depressed, low and upset, as well as powerless” and resulted in a significant deterioration of her physical and mental health, the report said. She is said to be unable to enjoy “a normal life” and is in a constant state of “fear for her personal safety”.

Roshni was ordered to pay the employee £90,000 in damages and carry out retraining of its staff, with particular emphasis on sexual and religious harassment.

A spokeswoman for the charity said it “did not agree with the ultimate conclusions of the tribunal, and would have appealed against it, had it had the resources to do that.

“As well as dealing with the legal elements of this case we have had to consider cultural and wider relationship issues which have clearly had a wider impact than the employer-employee relationship,” she added.

“In retrospect the case was not as well defended as it ought to have been. Two members of Roshni staff had a relationship which ultimately led to an employment tribunal.”

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