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P&O sued for sexual harassment

Cruise ship company P&O is being sued for sexual harassment over comments and gestures made by the judge of a singing competition which was held on board a vessel. Kate Strahan took part in the contest on the Pacific Jewel cruise ship, appearing in a leopard skin dress. One of the judges, Rory Healey, allegedly told her he could see her underwear through her dress, commented on her breasts and suggested she could “cougar” him any time.

P&O is reportedly trying to have the sexual harassment case dismissed, arguing that the incident took place outside Australian waters where, it claims, sexual harassment laws do not apply. Ms Stahan’s husband, John O’Brien, warned that if the company was successful in getting the sexual harassment case thrown out it meant that passengers had no protection under Australian law for most of the cruise.

To help avoid any potential discrimination claims in your business, ensure that your company’s policies are compliant with the Equality Act 2010. You can download a comprehensive range of policies and guidance notes to help you comply with your responsibilities under equal opportunities legislation, including promoting diversity, preventing discrimination and preventing bullying and harassment.

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