Colleagues Gag Woman, Strap Her To Chair Over Office Culture Complaint

“This is what you get when you speak out against the boys,” said one of the male employees, who bullied the whistleblower.



A Canadian-national woman who worked for Marine Scotland in Scrabster claimed she was a target of misogyny and racism in 2010.

DeeAnn Fitzpatrick shared her ordeal with BBC. A horrific picture shows the woman tied to a chair while her mouth was tightly taped with gaffer tape. She said two male employees working at the Scottish government agency restrained her because she blew the whistle on a threatening and misogynistic culture at Marine Scotland's office.

Marine Scotland is a fishery watchdog run by the Scottish Government.

"This is what you get when you speak out against the boys,” said one of the harassing fisheries officers, Reid Anderson.

One of the men also photographed her in that condition.

According to emails obtained by BBC, Fitzpatrick tried to raise the issue over email with one of her managers, who said he will talk with Anderson and Jody Paske, the second employee involved in the harassment. But he was of no help and denounced the alleged harassment as a case of office banter. "I am sure they meant no harm and that was the boys just being boys," he said.

The two male employees also allegedly joked about Fitzpatrick’s miscarriage, and they kept this vile behavior towards the woman for almost ten years.

Now, the 48-year-old has brought an employment tribunal case against the Scottish government.  However, the employee tribunal is not able to consider the case because the restraint incident took place three years ago.

However, Fitzpatrick is not giving up.

Her sister-in-law believes the photo of the restraint incident needs to be shown. “We were horrified. We were sickened. We worry about what this has done to her,” said Sherry Fitzpatrick.

"She's not giving up and now her family is behind her, and we're not giving up until someone is made accountable for their actions," she said.

One of the alleged attacker, Paske who doesn’t work for the company anymore said all these claims were lies. “These are false allegations. I can't remember the event you mention, but if it did happen, it would have been office banter. Just a craic. Certainly nothing to do with abuse,” he said.

The Scottish government denied commenting on the issue saying it does not comment on internal staffing matter.

Banner / Thumbnail : Pixabay, Counselling

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