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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 March 2006, 21:44 GMT 22:44 UK
Waitress wins harassment payout
A waitress made ill by the sexual harassment she experienced is to be paid 124,000 in compensation by a leading London restaurant.

The London employment tribunal heard of a culture of bullying and harassment at the kitchen of Harry's Bar in Mayfair.

Ilaria Signoriello, 26, was found to be a victim of unlawful discrimination and unlawful dismissal by the restaurant and executive chef Alberico Penati, 49.

Harry's Bar said steps were in place to ensure it could never happen again.

During the three-day hearing, Ms Signoriello said she was once grabbed by the shoulders and pushed against the wall by Mr Penati who started to kiss her neck.

We don't support sexual harassment in any way
David Wynne-Morgan, Harry's Bar

She added that the chef viewed women as sex objects and used sexist terms.

She later became ill and was certified as unfit for work because of stress caused by his conduct.

David Wynne-Morgan, speaking on behalf of Harry's Bar, said: "We don't support sexual harassment in any way. We have taken action to make sure this does not happen again."

'Great distress'

He added Mr Penati was still employed and his future was an "internal matter".

Solicitor Ann Bevington said Ms Signoriello had suffered "great distress and injury".

She said: "Ms Signoriello hopes that, in this way, a positive benefit to others may come of the terrible experiences which led to this claim, and further hopes that others suffering sexual harassment in the workplace may be encouraged to take action to challenge their treatment."

She said her client had now returned to Italy to stay with relatives.

The tribunal awarded her 118,701 for the unlawful discrimination and 5,520 for aggravated damages and compensation.

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