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Tribunal rules against Canadian woman who alleged workplace harassment in Scotland

DeeAnn Fitzpatrick says she was taped to a chair and gagged by two male colleagues after threatening to blow the whistle on a threatening culture at the Marine Scotland government department.
DeeAnn Fitzpatrick says she was taped to a chair and gagged by two male colleagues after threatening to blow the whistle on a threatening culture at the Marine Scotland government department. Facebook

The family of a Newfoundland-born woman who alleges she suffered a decade of harassment at her civil service office in Scotland – including once being taped to a chair – say they are disappointed that a tribunal has ruled against her claim.

The BBC reports the Scottish Employment Tribunal ruled against DeeAnn Fitzpatrick’s complaints of a racist and misogynistic workplace culture.

READ MORE: Canadian who worked for Scottish govt. taped to chair, gagged in alleged bullying incident

A statement from her family says they are “hugely disappointed” by the result, although they are not surprised, given a judge had decided some evidence would not be allowed.

DeeAnn Fitzpatrick is seen, in an undated handout image, during an alleged incident where her coworkers taped her to a chair for complaining about harassment in the office.
DeeAnn Fitzpatrick is seen, in an undated handout image, during an alleged incident where her coworkers taped her to a chair for complaining about harassment in the office. The Canadian Pres/HO-Sherry Fitzpatrick

The family says the tribunal did however highlight that the human resources department could have been more proactive in dealing with the matter by launching an investigation, questioning staff and reminding staff that such matters might be regarded as grounds for disciplinary action.

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Fitzpatrick, a fisheries officer originally from Bell Island, N.L., claims co-workers mocked her for having a miscarriage, used racist language, and threatened female staff members.

WATCH: Workplace Harassment and what you should be aware of

Click to play video: 'Workplace Harassment and what you should be aware of.' Workplace Harassment and what you should be aware of.
Workplace Harassment and what you should be aware of – Mar 1, 2018

A photo published by the BBC in May showed Fitzpatrick taped to a chair with tape over her mouth – an incident she claims was a response from two male co-workers at Marine Scotland’s office in Scrabster for ” 1/8speaking 3/8 out against the boys.”

The image prompted an outcry in the U.K. – Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she was “absolutely horrified” by the photo, and ordered a review of Fitzpatrick’s case.

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