HR Strange But True!
May 22, 2008

We've had our share of bad bosses, but we have never had one who directed his or her flatulence in our direction. A woman says she wasn't so lucky and alleges that flatulence was part of a hostile work environment to which her employer subjected her.

The woman worked for Selectabase in the United Kingdom and was the only woman on the sales team, the Daily Mail reports. She alleged that her workplace was filled with immature and inappropriate behavior, including flatulence. She said she put the company on notice about the behavior via email.

"The number of times the person at my side would lift up his bottom off the chair and fart and think it's funny is unreal," the woman wrote. "I am no prude, but I do think there is a time and a place for that behavior."

The woman said other examples of inappropriate behavior included sexist remarks and an incident in which a manager told her to wear an "I'm simple" badge after she had trouble with her computer, the newspaper reports.

She left the company after 3 months, alleging that the work environment had become so intolerable that she had to resign. She filed a complaint and took her case before an employment tribunal.

Before the tribunal, she said that she would have never been subjected to such behavior if she were a man. The employment tribunal ruled in her favor, awarding her £5,146 (about 10,100 in the U.S. dollars).

After the ruling, the company released a statement.

"We have always aimed for the highest standards in employee relations and over the past twelve years our conduct has never been called into question," said Steven Sellwood, managing director at the company. "Selectabase remains committed to providing an open and fair workplace. Our people are at the heart of the business and team members have been with the company for a number of years. We will continue to make every effort to ensure a positive and supportive work environment for all of our people and deliver the highest standards of work to our many clients."

Source: Daily Mail

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