Woman, 22, 'threatened to falsely accuse her female boss of having an AFFAIR unless she got payout' | The Sun
A WOMAN threatened to falsely accuse her female boss of having a secret affair unless she gave her a pay off to leave the company, an employment tribunal has heard.
In a "calculated and premeditated" move, Hortence Yagmur told her boss Isabel Blanco she would report that she was in an 'on off' relationship with a senior colleague.
The 22-year-old went on to demand up to a year's salary to leave her job after previously saying she would resign, in a "scurrilous" attempt to pressure Ms Blanco.
However, "offended" Ms Blanco refused to give in, and Ms Yagmur left with only one month's pay.
The marketing coordinator then took her employers to a tribunal after claiming she was the victim of age and disability discrimination – but the case was thrown out and her actions were condemned by the panel.
"(Ms Yagmur) was seeking to put pressure on Ms Blanco to negotiate a pay out on her behalf by threatening to make untruthful and damaging allegations against her if she refused to do so," the tribunal said.
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"This was calculated and premeditated. She tried to coerce Ms Blanco into negotiating an exit package for her by threatening to make scurrilous allegations of sexual impropriety against her."
The hearing in Watford was told Ms Yagmur had joined West London firm Armstrong Ceiling Solutions as a Marketing Co-ordinator in April 2019.
At the time the Westminster University graduate was just about to turn 22 and was the youngest member of staff.
However, by September Ms Blanco was receiving reports from colleagues that Ms Yagmur was spending a lot of time on her phone and was away from her desk for 'long periods' of up to 40 minutes.
The tribunal heard that in one three hour meeting, ahe left three times with her phone and was absent for up to 20 minutes. But when Ms Blanco raised the issue with her, Ms Yagmur was 'outraged' and became 'emotional'.
Their working relationship worsened when the following month Ms Blanco refused to order business cards for Ms Yagmur. Five days later she left her desk for more than hour and was seen on her phone.
A month after this, Ms Yagmur submitted a £900 expenses claim following the cancellation of a flight on a work trip to Germany.
The tribunal heard there was an error in her claim which meant it wasn't paid straight away. In response to the delay, Ms Yagmur emailed the accounts team saying 'I do not earn my salary to finance the company'.
This led to Ms Blanco telling her her behaviour had been 'unprofessional and argumentative', a point Ms Yagmur refused to accept.
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The pair met again the following day to discuss the expenses claim as well as other issues 'relating to her attitude and tone and continued problems relating to her time away from her desk'.
"Ms Blanco told the claimant this had become a problem and she would have to speak to HR about it," the tribunal heard. Following this, Ms Yagmur's flexible working agreement was suspended for three months.
Shortly afterwards Ms Yagmur had another argument with her employers after she refused to use the company's usual taxi company to take her to the airport.
Ms Yagmur then told Ms Blanco at the end of November that she would be resigning as the events had taken a toll on her mental health.
She subsequently asked for financial support from the company and became annoyed when Ms Blanco said she would not help her negotiate a settlement.
Ms Yagmur then told Ms Blanco that two months previously a senior colleague had told her he was having an 'on-off affair' with her.
The tribunal heard that Ms Blanco was "very offended by this allegation, which was untrue, and had told (Ms Yagmur) she would have to ask the senior colleague in question whether he had spoken to (her) in the terms alleged."
Ms Yagmur allegedly responded "yes I guess so, it is just his word against mine."
The 22 year old went on to tell Ms Blanco that it would be better if she approached HR about her decision to resign, as she would have to tell them the affair allegation.
"Ms Blanco said that (Ms Yagmur) was very calm during this exchange" the tribunal heard.
"Ms Blanco’s notes of the meeting conclude by saying she had 'made exceptions for (Ms Yagmur) as she is still so young and inexperienced and gave her the benefit of the doubt on many occasions.
"I now feel like she has totally abused my trust and thrown all my effort and help with her back in my face”.
Ms Yagmur told the tribunal that the information she claimed to have received about Ms Blanco's affair 'made me question whether her personal relationship with [the senior colleague] was something to do with her being in a managerial position'.
According to the tribunal judgement "when asked for clarification of this statement she said "If they had a personal relationship could this have influenced the position?"
"She denied that what she meant by this was that she thought Ms Blanco had got her job by sleeping with a senior colleague."
The following month Ms Yagmur told the head of HR she was resigning and that she was looking for 12 months' salary in compensation or help paying her rent for nine months.
The company refused and offered her a months' pay in lieu of notice instead.
Ms Yagmur – who the tribunal heard suffered from anxiety and depression – sued Ceiling Solutions, claiming she had been the victim of age and disability discrimination.
However, the panel – chaired by Employment Judge Akua Reindorf – rejected her case.
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