Central London Employment Tribunal has been hearing claims of sexual harassment, sex discrimination and victimisation against an exclusive shoe retailer, Barker Shoes.
The allegations have been made by two female employees who were employed at the company’s flagship store on Regent Street, London. It is alleged that the store’s retail manager forced saleswomen to sit on his knee, tried to hug and kiss them and described in detail visiting a nudist beach.
Mr Guerbi, 60, who is also alleged to have stripped to the waist in front of staff in the shop, is accused of recruiting only beautiful girls with nice bodies and then victimising those who rebuffed his advances.
Ms Bolhasani, Manager of the store, said that Mr Guerbi’s “rampant sexual attentions towards female staff were ignored by Barker”. She also claimed that in May 2012 Mr Guerbi assaulted her after telling her the rest of the staff hated her. She described how he had pulled her towards him and pulled her face to try to kiss her and how this had left her feeling traumatised.
In 2013 it is claimed that Mr Guerbi made a further attempt to force himself upon Ms Bolhasani in a staff room. When she complained to Barker that the company only employs beautiful girls with nice bodies she says she was told that was why she had been hired. Barker and Mr Guerbi are being sued for sexual harassment, sex discrimination and victimisation.
Ms Bolhasani is also claiming race discrimination on the grounds that Mr Guerbi allegedly ranted, “all bloody Iranians are aggressive”. Barker and Mr Guerbi strongly deny the allegations.