Employment tribunal rejects Asghar Ali’s claim that the original award was too generous
A Bolton-based solicitor who asked a young female paralegal to marry him during a job interview will have to fork out in excess of £20,000 after a tribunal dismissed his appeal.
Asghar Ali (pictured above), owner of AA Solicitors, was ordered to fork out the five-figure sum by a Manchester employment tribunal back in July 2014.
At the time, the tribunal heard how the married 47-year-old solicitor embarked on a campaign of sexual harassment against Sunna Majid.
The paralegal claimed that as well as jokingly proposing marriage, Ali had asked her for her star sign and informed the young woman he was going to have a double bed installed in the office.
According to the Mail Online, Majid — who felt forced to pretend she had a boyfriend — claimed her boss eventually “turned nasty” when she “politely rejected his advances”. Ali sacked her shortly afterwards, claiming he could no longer afford to pay her.
At the appeal, barrister Stephen Willmer — representing Ali and AA Solicitors — argued that the award of over £20,000 was too generous and ought to be reduced.
Disagreeing, and subsequently dismissing Ali’s appeal, Mr Justice Kerr said:
Miss Majid was a young woman at the start of her professional career, and Mr Ali was an older man in a position of power and authority… From the first meeting in the job interview he treated her in a demeaning and disrespectful manner, as a woman evidently to be present in the office for his pleasure and gratification, rather than to work and develop her skills as a lawyer.
The payout included £14,000 for injury to feelings, £4,000 in aggravated damages and £2,111 in loss of earnings, plus interest.
According to Kerr, Majid was “not out of work for long” and quickly found employment with another law firm.
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