Newfoundland woman at centre of Scottish workplace harassment scandal


ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — A Newfoundland-born woman has sparked a major political scandal in Scotland, alleging she suffered a decade of harassment after complaining about a sexist, racist workplace culture at her civil service office.

A photo published by the BBC this week shows DeeAnn 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 “[speaking] out against the boys.”

The photo, and Fitzpatrick’s ongoing case before the Scottish Employment Tribunal, has prompted outcry in the U.K.

Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said Wednesday she was “absolutely horrified” by the photo, and said she is ordering a review of Fitzpatrick’s case.

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

Fitzpatrick is unable to speak about the incidents while her case is before the tribunal.

The Canadian Press