A fisheries officer who claims she was “tied to a chair” during a decade of harassment has taken the Scottish Government to court.
DeeAnn Fitzpatrick claims she was mocked for having a miscarriage, repeatedly insulted and that her complaints were ignored during her time working at Marine Compliance.
The 48–year-old, of Janetstown near Thurso, has been signed off sick from work since November last year but now wants compensation.
However she may be denied an employment hearing because the incidents she complains of took place longer than three months before she raised the alarm.
A preliminary hearing into her case took place at the Aberdeen Tribunal Hearing Centre yesterday to establish whether her claim can proceed and how far back her evidence can go.
During this she made a number of claims against her employers.
She said: “I was taped to a chair by two of my colleagues and told this is what happens if you speak out.”
She also said she was subject to a number of derogatory remarks about her Canadian nationality and was mocked after she miscarried.
Her solicitor, Jillian Merchant, claimed she was sent Valentine’s Day cards in 2015, 2016 and 2017 from someone she worked with, one of which referred to her as a “troll” and said “we miss you, not.”
The tribunal heard that an investigation into how she was treated in the workplace was carried out in 2014.
However solicitor Andrew Gibson, representing the Scottish Government, asked her why she had not taken proceedings forward sooner.
He asked if the time limit of three months had been mentioned in her numerous meetings with her trade union representative.
She said it had not come up.
Mr Gibson later claimed the allegations were not similar in nature, were against different individuals and if they were true would not constitute a continuing pattern of behaviour.
He added that there was a four year gap between 2011 and 2015 when no claims have been made.
Employment judge Nick Hosie will make a verdict on whether the case can proceed within the next four weeks.