||All England Reporter
|| All ER (D) 19 (Nov)
||Queen's Bench Division
Judge Peter Coulson QC sitting as a judge of the High Court
||The claimant appeared in person.
||Shona Jolly (instructed by Judge Sykes Frixou) for the defendant.
||1 November 2007
Vicarious liability - Employer and employee - Harassment - Negligence - Claimant complaining that defendant's conduct causing him to suffer clinical depression - Whether claims made out - .
Applying settled principles, conduct had to have an element of real seriousness in order to amount to harassment under the ; it had to be oppressive and unacceptable. If employers were faced with allegations of harassment every time that they made an operational decision, the commercial world would come to a halt. Furthermore, it was important in a claim in negligence concerned with workplace stress that, in order for an employer to be liable, it had to be demonstrated that the employer knew or ought to have known that the employee would not be able to withstand the pressure of the job. On the evidence, the claimant had failed to establish that the defendant was liable, either under the Act or in negligence, for conduct towards him when he was an employee of the defendant.
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