The T&T National Petroleum Marketing Company Limited (NP) has fired one of their female estate constables who recently came out public about being an alleged victim of sexual harassment in 2018.
On May 27, this year, the T&T Guardian published an article where the guard at the company alleged that she was sexually harassed while on the job by an estate corporal just under a year ago and to date she was still awaiting for her matter to be addressed.
The guard sent a pre-action protocol letter to management demanding that her sexual harassment case be dealt with immediately and for justice.
However, Guardian Media understands that subsequent to the publishing of the matter, which NP’s chief executive officer (CEO) Bernard Mitchell refused to comment on, the guard was sent a letter dated May 31 for disciplinary hearing.
The letter stated that she was charged with gross misconduct including: public ridicule of the company making reference to two T&T Guardian articles, breach of press statement clause, false allegations of victimisation perpetrated by an estate corporal, false claims of sexual harassment against the estate corporal and false statements against the general manager, human resources & HSSE.
The disciplinary matter took place on June 7 at NP’s El Socorro’s office.
On June 27, the guard received another letter from NP informing her of her termination of employment with immediate effect.
That letter indicated that she was found guilty of all five charges of gross misconduct.
Speaking with the Guardian Media, the guard indicated that she has taken the company to court over the alleged sexual harassment matter.
She, however, expressed shock over her termination especially given the fact that she is currently on vacation.
“So I was fired for 13 days and continued to work up to this present time. I was only contacted on Tuesday about the letter. It shows they are very incompetent and mischievous because how could I be fired for such a long time and the person in charge of the Department doesn’t know, “ she said.
She said she was also listed for a Sports and Family Day last Saturday on a team with the HR/IR manager.
She said in her disciplinary hearing she requested a postponement due to her lawyer being flooded out, “I told them I am not comfortable going forward without my lawyer. They said they are going ahead without him.”
“When did I really get fired? What did I get fired for? Sexual Harassment is so serious to them and look how they dealt with it, I am the victim and was really treated as the villain. I did nothing wrong I feel for the employees who will be scared to come forward after this if found to be in a similar situation, “ she added.
Following the T&T Guardian article on May 27 NP assured the public that NP takes very seriously any allegations of sexual misconduct when raised by any employee.
In a media statement issued by the corporate communications department, the company stated that in instances where such allegations are raised, “it is the Company’s policy to promptly and thoroughly investigate complaints of harrassment and take swift and appropriate action upon completion of the investigation to address any proven transgressions, while taking measures to protect the complainants.”
“In additon to its articulated anti-harrassment policy and procedure, NP has protections and processes in place to safeguard employees from sexual harrassment and that also respects the employee’s right to report misconduct, without fear of retaliation, “ it added.
NP said it maintains zero tolerance for any forms of harrassment, discrimination, bullying or violence in the workplace and we are committed to a culture that fosters the dignified and respectful treatment of all employees.
In a corporate updated notice sent out by the Human Resources Division to NP’s employees hours after that media release was sent out, it sought to explain to employees and reassure them that “the company does not tolerate harassment of any employee and takes very seriously any allegation of sexual misconduct raised by any employee.”