Published: February 3, 2024, 12:01h.
Last updated on: February 3, 2024, 12:01h.
A former dancer at London’s Playboy Club Casino was hired as a legal secretary by a male lawyer who was a patron at the venue.
However, the woman, who was studying for a post-graduate diploma in Law while working at the casino, was not compensated for her work. Instead, she was made to believe that her new employer was “God” and she was an “obedient little slave creature,” according to tribunal filings. Employment Judge Anne Martin described the case as “extraordinary.”
The woman, identified as “BR” during the tribunal, has been granted £18K compensation for injury to feelings, nearly £5K in unpaid wages, plus £5K interest.
High-End Law Firm
BR was approached by the now-deceased lawyer, referred to as “AD,” at the Playboy Club. He offered her a job as his personal secretary at Eldwick Law, a London-based boutique law firm that deals with high-end clients. At the time, AD was a consultant lawyer at Eldwick.
BR claimed that she was promised a base salary of £14K per year for four days a week, plus a bonus of 10% of everything she billed and received, plus 5% of what AD billed and received.
AD told her that her background in London nightlife would be a valuable asset due to her ability to entertain and work alongside high net-worth clients and accompany them to upscale establishments.
He made the “God” and “slave” comment via a WhatsApp message, explaining that it was the only way she could “fulfill her potential.”
The tribunal revealed that after researching Eldwick, BR was enthusiastic about working with them.
However, on her first day, instead of going to Eldwick’s offices, AD called her and told her to come to his house. Subsequently, she worked from his place or from her home.
Harassment and Victimization
Ultimately, BR never went to the firm’s offices, met any of its employees, or received a contract from Eldwick. An earlier tribunal determined that she had never been employed by Eldwick and therefore was not entitled to compensation from the firm. Instead, she was working for AD, although she never received any payment from him.
BR admitted that she had been “rather naïve” throughout the process.
The tribunal ruled that the deceased lawyer was in violation of contract, breached his duty to provide a written statement of employment, and was guilty of sexual harassment and victimization.
Ultimately, AD was arrested by police after going to BR’s house and assaulting her and her four-year-old son, as indicated in tribunal filings.