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Category: Employment


Published: 10 July 2020

Police Scotland officer was victimised by colleagues during internal inquiry

An Employment Tribunal has found in favour of a former police officer who brought a claim of discrimination against the force with the support of Livingstone Brown.

The ET in Glasgow found that Karen Harper was targeted by a sergeant at Police Scotland, who passed on information that was potentially damaging to her career.

Ms Harper, who was forced to leave the force after 22 years due to ill health, is being represented by Livingstone Brown and has won the right to be compensated after the ET heard evidence from her and 13 other current or former officers.

The Employment Judge found her treatment was victimisation in the form of “retaliation” after she had complained about how a senior officer had bullied her. Sex discrimination was upheld but a separate complaint of ‘whistleblowing’ against the force was rejected.

However, that aspect of the case is now being taken further on Ms Harper’s behalf with a hearing to take place later this year at the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Police Scotland’s internal investigation led to two inspectors approaching nine of her neighbours and her ex-husband asking for information on her. She was not told about the internal investigation or asked for her side of the story.

Ms Harper’s appeal argues that elements of the investigation were “incomprehensible” and “went beyond legitimate enquiry, and amount to a fishing expedition"

Mark Allison, head of employment law at Livingstone Brown, said: “Ms Harper was pleased with the unequivocal findings by the tribunal both that she had been subjected to unlawful victimisation by a senior police officer, and that the subsequent procedure was unfair and inconsistent with Police Scotland’s own policies and procedures.

“Nevertheless there are aspects of the judgment that Ms Harper takes issue with. On the basis of legal advice, it is felt that there are reasonable grounds for challenging those decisions and that process is under way.”

Read the full STV article here.

Contact Livingstone Brown today

Discrimination and Whistleblowing are cases which Livingstone Brown deal with at the Employment Tribunal on a regular basis and we can answer most new inquiries about representation the same day. Call 0141-429-8166 or complete our online form.

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