An official of Scottish Borders Council sacked for prodding a female colleague goes to tribunal

by duncan12 on December 4, 2012

  • SumoMe

A senior official at Scottish Borders Council was sacked from his £50,000-a-year job after he pushed a female colleague in the breast so hard that she was left bruised.

Alan Hasson was dismissed in June 2010 as the head of community services after prodding the woman following a laden meeting.

Community learning and development manager Majorie Hutton complained that the prod was in an intimate area and felt “meant”, but also added that it was not done in a sexual way.

Mr Hasson, who lost his job following a disciplinary hearing, has decided to take the local authority to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal, claiming sex discrimination and disability discrimination.

The 54-year-old from Innerleithen attended the hearing in Edinburgh last week at which witnesses for the council spoke about the incident at a meeting in Hawick.

The council’s head of social work, Andrew Lowe, did confirm that Mr Hasson was sacked despite having an unblemished career.

Mr Lowe, who had chaired the original SBC disciplinary hearing, told the tribunal that Hasson had prodded someone of the opposite sex in an intimate area. He was a big man, she was small, he being male, she a female and he was a senior.

He said that he was concerned that he had a senior colleague with an unblemished record and another colleague who was blameless and he had to take appropriate action.

After the fraught meeting there was a conversation and Mr Hasson had something to say which he made in demonstration maybe he added.

But it was not a demonstration, it was something that hurt and that was meant. Such prodding was not expected off officers in the Scottish Borders. He may not have intended to cause her any pain but he did and for that he could be called reckless said Mr Lowe.

An employment solicitor for the council and a witness said Mr Hasson claimed the incident may have been influenced by his medical condition.

Mr Davidson told the hearing that the manager produced a letter from his GP for the appeal hearing which revealed he suffered from depression during the latter half of 2009 and was on medication.

The GP’s letter said the fact he was off the medication at the time of the incident may have resulted in “uncharacteristic behaviour”.

Mr Davidson said the sacked manager, who was responsible for libraries, museums, arts and community learning, had objected to his dismissal on 12 grounds, including the fact he had not been found guilty of assault.

The hearing was also told that an appeal board of five “experienced” councillors considered the case in September the same year and decided not to overturn the sacking.

Mr Hasson’s employment solicitor, claimed the decision was coloured by the fact the board had seen details of allegations about him which were unproved.

The hearing, before employment judge Susan Craig, is expected to resume on December 18.

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