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Architect wins sexism case

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A female architect has won a payout of £250,000 after a court ruled she had been the target of sexist bullying at her former company YOO

Julie Humphryes was forced out of her previous job after sexist bullying at the Phillippe Starck-founded outfit.

The Central London Employment Tribunal ruled that YOO ‘wrongly and unfairly’ dismissed Humphryes awarding her £406,000 in damages - a payout of £250,000 after tax.

Humphryes, who had worked at YOO for nine years before her departure in 2013, claimed discrimination on the grounds of her sex and pregnancy or maternity, victimisation, constructive, unfair and discriminatory dismissal.

She said she ‘felt marginalised’ by the company when a male colleague received credit for work which she had done on a residential scheme in the Cotswolds. When she complained the firm’s chief executive Chris Boulton, said she was ‘exhibiting maternity paranoia’.

Boulton told the tribunal Humphryes, who was on leave after the birth of her second child, was ‘exhibiting insecurity because she was away from the office and not in touch with what was going on’.

The mother of two was also asked by the firm’s co-founder John Hitchcox if she really wanted to be a ‘supermum’ during a meeting in 2012, in which he said he ‘had in mind the extensive travelling involved in the job, and the fact she had on occasion taken her first child with her on foreign trips’.

Humphryes said she felt this was ‘patronising and sexist’.

It also heard that Humphryes claimed she had not received equal pay to her colleague but this claim was thrown out on the basis that she ‘did not do work of an equal value’.

The company was ordered by the panel to pay £20,000 for injury to feeling, £72,500 for future losses as a result of not being employed and £176,500 for other losses.

YOO was contacted for comment.

More on this to follow.

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