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Married banker sues office with ‘culture of homophobic banter’

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  1. It’s hardly surprising that ‘banker’ is sometimes spelt with a W.

  2. I smell something not quite as it seems here. Obviously a purile environment, but what part did this guy play in it? It sounds like it wasn’t ‘no part’.

    1. What makes you think of blaming the victim?

      1. You indirectly did that yourself.

        1. No, I was referring to the w/bankers the litigant worked with (though I see now I could have been clearer there)

      2. Shall we wait to see what the tribunal finds before deciding who the victim is? Did you not read the bit about the ‘victim’ taking part in the chain e-mail banter? Do you know what the other side of the case is? – it’s not clear from this report. Let’s just park the bandwagon a bit and wait for more information.

        1. I agree the report could be clearer, but if he was an active participant in homophobic banter do you really think he’d take the matter to the employment tribunal?

    2. Jock S. Trap 25 Jun 2012, 4:52pm

      An appalling attitude.

      Most victims of homophobia don’t have to or need to ‘play’ any part in it.

      Let’s hope you don’t find yourself in a similar situation to warrant support, clearly like Paul Roche does.

      It doesn’t help to become judgemental.

      1. It would appear I haven’t made my point clear! This story is about allegations and counter allegations at a tribunal – we have, as yet, no determination of the truth of the matter. Most of you have sided with the plaintiff – and perhaps you all have more information than is in the article – I don’t. I have taken a more open view. I take homophobia very seriously, but I take the misuse of such allegations as seriously, and it’s just possible thatthis might be the case here. When we jump to conclusions as I think many here have, I think we are in danger of trivialising a serious matter.

        1. Jock S. Trap 26 Jun 2012, 11:57am

          Let’s hope you don’t find yourself in a similar position and seeking support, Wingby.

          1. Are you trying to bully me, Jock?

            A similar position to whom? These are claims and counter-claims. Even Pink News uses quote marks for the allegations. Where do you get your omniscience from? I’m sure this guy is very grateful for your ‘support’. And as an older gay man, with an Irish partner, and a corporate career behind me, I’ve plenty of experience of anti-gay and anti-Irish bullying in the workplace. It’s not to be tolerated. Let’s see what the hearing decides.

  3. So the bank accept they had a homophobic (or indeed currently have) culture – what are they doing to deal with this, and why are they seeking to blame the victim in this?

    1. Stu – your first point is valid. Your second is precipitous, and needs to wait for a tribunal to adjudicate.

      1. Would it not be fair to say that an applicant who claims to have suffered at the hands of a homophobic culture that the bank themselves accept – is in their own opinion a victim?

      2. Sorry,
        Stu’s 2nd point may be precipitATE [= rushing in headfirst] but it cannot be precipitOUS [= a sheer drop]

        1. Clever boy – You obviously understood both my meaning and my incorrect use of grammar

  4. The bank’s barrister says that he didn’t raise a claim of direct discrimination while worked there. What about the request to move desk away from the ringleader. The manager who turned down the request needs to be held to account. I am a bit concerned that the tone of this article suggests that the claimant’s sexual orientation is relevant. He may or may not be gay. He was still allegedly subjected to homophobic abuse.

    1. discrimination based on perceived orientation is included in the same provisions of actual orientation – but it does show that straight people can also be the victims of homophobic abuse.

  5. Robert in S. Kensington 25 Jun 2012, 3:08pm

    It surprises me even more that it’s a Dutch bank with obviously some Dutch employees working there to even raise the issue that Mr. Roche isn’t Dutch. What has that to do with how he did his job? Either way, it’s vile and disgusting. Nobody, gay or straight should be subject to such harassment and those involved should be reprimanded and if need be, sacked. Zero tolerance for that sort of thing should be mandatory for all employers in the UK. It has no place in our country or work environment.

    1. Wasn’t ABN Amro actually owned by the RBS until the crash ?

  6. That There Other David 25 Jun 2012, 4:09pm

    Banks in the City are largely staffed by either Essex or East London wideboys or public school Lord Snooty types, and pretty much neither group has yet mentally left the playground. I have a Jewish friend who has similarly been subjected to anti-Semitic bullying. The whole culture is one of belittling and ganging up on targets.

    My advice to everyone here is to avoid the entire industry. It’s lucrative, but life is too damn short.

  7. “The bank’s barrister, Laura McNair-Wilson, said there was a culture of ‘homophobic banter’ in the office …”

    Doesn’t say much for the employees OR the employer. Hope he wins!!!

    1. Suddenly Last Bummer 18 Jul 2012, 11:27am

      I wonder how quick Laura McNair-Wilson would be to defend sexist and derogatory discrimination towards women, she seems quite ready to defend homophobic bullying.

      1. Chris Sena 20 Jul 2012, 3:06pm

        Somebody has to defend the bank in the tribunal no matter how despicable the culture they allow to exist is. Quite rightly too, that’s just how the justice system works in this country. I do hope that if, as the evidence presented in the article seems to suggest, they have treated Mr Roche unfairly they are punished sufficiently.

        There obviously needs to be a clear message sent out that companies must not be allowed to let a homophobic culture develop to the level of bullying and especially not be able to merely dismiss it as “banter”. It should also be made clear to management that it is their responsibility to ensure that their offices are not used as a forum for discrimination including homophobia.

  8. Jock S. Trap 25 Jun 2012, 4:49pm

    I hope he wins. Perhaps then all banking employers (and all others) will start to take the problem of homophobia seriously.

    1. The issue will be whether the guy (the claimant) exhausted any internal complaints procedures before he walked out and claimed unfair constructive dismissal. If not, then the tribunal will have to decide whether the bank’s (ie its employees’) behaviour was so bad that it breached the employment contract so as to leave him no option but to summarily dismiss himself. I’ve got a sneaky feeling that the bank is going to get away with this one.

  9. Good for him I hope he sues them good and gets all he can and gives some to help fight for the freedom of all LGBT people.

  10. CPS London 15 Aug 2012, 9:23pm

    I think that it would appear that the bank is at fault, but this isn’t always the case. I have worked in the industry for over 13 years as an out gay man. I can honestly say I have had very few problems and when they have occurred I have stood up and addressed those concerned directly. Once this has been done the issue hasn’t occurred again. Sometimes standing up for yourself is the first thing you should do and then rather than ask to move, deal with the issue directly with HR and the Manager concerned. Ensure it is recordred. Most major City Banks have procedures and many have social groups for gay and lesbian staff. I still think that it disgusting that adults can behave in this way and the those concerned should be brought to book. But it the first place Bullying of any kind is sometimes best dealt with at the earliest stage and dealing directly with the bullies.

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