Posted on: February 3, 2024, 12:01h.
Last updated on: February 3, 2024, 12:01h.
A former dancer at London’s Playboy Club Casino was recruited as a legal secretary by a male lawyer who was a patron at the venue.
But the woman, who had been working at the casino while studying for a post-graduate diploma in Law, was never paid for her subsequent work. Instead, she was told her new employer was “God” and that she was an “obedient little slave creature,” according to tribunal filings. Employment Judge Anne Martin described the case as “extraordinary.”
The woman, referred to only as “BR” during the tribunal, has been awarded £18K compensation for injury to feelings, nearly £5K in unpaid wages, plus £5K interest.
High-End Law Firm
BR was approached by the now-deceased lawyer, referred to in filings only as “AD,” at the Playboy Club. He invited her to work as his own personal secretary at Eldwick Law, a London-based boutique disputes law firm that deals with high-end clients. At the time, AD was a consultant lawyer at Eldwick.
BR claimed she was offered a base salary of £14K per year for four days a week, plus a bonus of 10% of everything she billed and received, plus 5% of what AD billed and received.
AD told her that her background in London nightlife would be an asset as she would be able to entertain and work alongside high net-worth clients and accompany them to swanky restaurants and bars.
He made the “God” and “slave” comment via a WhatsApp message, explaining that it was the only way she could “fulfill her potential.”
The tribunal heard that after researching Eldwick, BR was excited about the possibility of working with them.
But on her first day, as she headed to Eldwick’s offices, AD called her and told her to come to his house instead. Subsequently, she either worked there or from home.
Harassment and Victimization
Ultimately, BR never went to the firm’s offices, met any of its employees, or received a contract from Eldwick. An earlier tribunal ruled that she had never been employed by Eldwick and therefore was not liable for any compensation from the firm. Instead, she worked for AD, although she did not receive any payment from him.
BR accepted that she had been “rather naïve” throughout the process.
The tribunal found the deceased lawyer to have been in breach of contract, in breach of his duty to provide a written statement of employment, and was guilty of sexual harassment and victimization.
Ultimately, AD was arrested by police after he went to BR’s house and assaulted her and her four-year-old son, according to tribunal filings.