Surrey, UK -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/27/2013 -- More women who claim they were asked to sign gagging orders by the BBC have come forward, it has emerged.
Ann Olivarius attorney, has revealed how she was approached by more than 20 women following a speech she delivered at a recent event discussing women in the arts and media, all of whom reported that they were victims of sexual harassment when they worked for the public corporation.
Ann Olivarius American-British lawyer is currently chair of the executive committee for McAllister Olivarius, a law firm with offices in both London and New York. The firm enjoys a successful history of winning employment disputes for its clients, particularly those involving discrimination against women. Ann Olivarius lawyer told the Daily Mail how women are being more open about their revelations, saying that those who approached her “talked bravely about sexual discrimination and about bullying and inappropriate sexual advances” in the BBC. Followers of Ann Olivarius LinkedIn and Ann Olivarius Facebook can view the solicitor's extensive experience in sexual harassment cases and more details of her professional resume online.
These most recent developments add more fuel to the fire now raging about the working culture at the BBC, which is being formally investigated via the corporation's ‘Respect At Work’ Review. The inquiry was launched to address issues of sexual harassment and bullying that have emerged since the Jimmy Savile scandal surfaced. However, the review itself has been making headlines after 20 of the 850 women who came forward say that they are concerned that they are unable to reveal their experiences of sexual harassment/bullying due to past gagging clauses.
Gagging orders typically form part of an agreement between an employer and an exiting employee whereby the latter agrees to stay silent about the grounds for their initial claim, in exchange for a settlement payment. They’re also expected to keep the particulars of the settlement agreement itself confidential. This agreed silence seeks not only to avoid whistle-blowing but also to prevent inspiring similar claims by other employees. And it keeps them from knowing how much the company is willing to pay to get employees to leave without further trouble.
The women join several other high-profile former and current BBC employees who have claimed they were the victims of harassment whilst working for the broadcaster. Both Sandi Toksvig and Liz Kershaw have reported such harassment by fellow BBC employees. Miriam O'Reilly recently told how she refused to sign a gagging clause when she attended an employment tribunal related to age discrimination, while working on the corporation's Countryfile programme. The BBC denies that women taking part in its review are being prevented from revealing instances of sexual harassment or bullying because of gagging orders. It states that the inquiry, which was launched in October 2012 and is being managed by Dinah Rose QC, will help the corporation to take proactive and positive steps to address sexual harassment in the BBC and give support to those who may be affected by these issues.
Name: Joshua Owens
Company Location: London, UK