BA steward loses harassment claim

An employee of British Airways has lost his claim for sexual harassment after a tribunal heard that there were “a lot of relationships” amongst staff.

At the hearing in Watford, Herts, Mr Bartek Wytrzyszczewski said that an unnamed colleague, referred to as Mr X, contacted him on gay dating app Grindr, to tell him he was “hot”. Mr X was also alleged to have told Mr Wytrzyszczewski that he was skipping his usual visit to the gym to “have sex instead”.

The claim of sexual harassment was rejected by the tribunal, in part because of Mr Wytrzyszczewski’s knowledge of sexual affairs between pilots, stewards and stewardesses. Customer relations boss Joanna Hale said there were “a lot of relationships” between staff members.

Mr Wytrzyszczewski, claimed he had been “forced” out and discriminated against because of his Polish nationality, his sexuality, and for raising safety concerns. He claimed his superior acted “inappropriately” on an overseas working trip between December 31st 2017 and January 3rd 2018, by contacting him on Grindr to tell him he was “hot”.

The tribunal heard that Mr Wytrzyszczewski did not take offence until days later following a dispute over a seven-year-old passenger whereby he was given a verbal telling off by Mr X.

Judge Oliver Hyams criticised Mr Wytrzyszczewski for alleging Mr X offended him only after he was reprimanded. He said: “We concluded that at no time did the claimant say or indicate in any way to Mr X that Mr X’s attentions were unwanted before Mr X gave the claimant the instant feedback. Mr X’s attentions towards the claimant did not have the purpose of either violating the claimant’s dignity or creating for him an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment.”

All claims were dismissed.