‘Vulgar and obscene’ worker at a London pharmacy selling Viagra online ‘groped colleague, boasted about the size of his manhood and insisted colleagues call him ‘Big D’, tribunaal verhoor
A worker at a pharmacy that sells Viagra online boasted about the size of his manhood and insisted colleagues call him ‘Big D’, a tribunal heard today.
Darshan Acharya was accused of being a ‘creepy sexual predator’ by a former colleague who resigned after she was allegedly disciplined for lodging a formal complaint against him.
The woman claimed Mr Acharya said his brother inherited better genes than him before pointing between his legs, toevoeging: ‘at least down there I’m bigger’.
He was also accused of groping the woman’s bottom, referring to another female colleague as ‘baby’ and openly talking about the type of pornography he liked to watch.
The woman said she made a formal complaint about her colleague, but that bosses at MedExpress, where they both worked, disciplined her, prompting her to resign on February 5 laas jaar.
Daardie selfde dag, the woman made a whistleblowing complaint to the General Pharmaceutical Council claiming MedExpress was re-selling used Covid-19 test kits returned by customers – an allegation which it strongly denies.
The woman is now suing Mr Acharya, MedExpress and its founder and director Dwayne D’Souza, alleging she suffered sexual harassment, sex discrimination, race discrimination, constructive dismissal and victimisation as a whistleblower.
Her lawyer Joe Sykes said she is seeking a figure in the region of £50,000 for lost earnings and hurt feelings in her claim at the Central London Employment Tribunal.
Die maatskappy, Mr D’Souza and Mr Acharya deny all the woman’s claims.
A woman is suing her former colleague Darshan Acharya, her former employer MedExpress and its founder and director Dwayne D’Souza, by die Central London Employment Tribunal (op die foto) alleging she suffered sexual harassment, sex discrimination, race discrimination, constructive dismissal and victimisation as a whistleblower
Giving evidence by video link today, the woman tearfully told of her employment with MedExpress, where she worked as a pharmacy assistant.
She said a ‘horrified’ female staff member had told her at a December 2019 office party about Mr Acharya’s boasts.
While packing orders, he allegedly told them ‘his brother inherited “the good genes” while he inherited the bad ones’.
Die vrou het gesê: ‘He had added, while pointing between his legs, “but at least down there I’m bigger”.’
Branding Mr Acharya ‘vulgar and obscene’, sy het gese: ‘I found those words offensive and denigrating to female staff.
‘Mr Acharya’s comment boasted of his sexual ability. He implied female staff would be attracted to him as a result.’
She claimed Mr Acharya would deliberately come up close to her and invade her personal space when he was shredding documents.
She said he told other female colleagues about his ‘sexual experience with a woman with weird nipples’ and that he ‘really enjoyed watching bondage and BDSM porn’.
The woman also claimed Mr Acharya called one colleague ‘baby’ and said he ‘wanted people to call him “Big D” in a further reference to his male private parts’.
She said it was in November that Mr Acharya fondled her bottom, toevoeging: ‘I felt a stroke down there. I froze, then screamed across the office “dogter Emilia”?’
The woman claimed Mr Acharya also harassed another colleague by trying to help her put on her necklace; positioning himself close behind her as she bent over to clean a below-counter fridge; and pestering her to have lunch with him.
aanvaar dat sy nalatig was toe sy die deur oopgemaak het, maar beweer beide mnr Dominte en mnr Lieberson self was ook te blameer, the colleague played down Mr Acharya’s conduct.
Sy het gese: ‘I don’t think he realises he is being inappropriate. He can come across a little bit socially awkward, so it is easy to misunderstand him.’
The woman bringing the case against Mr Acharya told the tribunal that when she complained about him, she was disciplined by the firm for ‘poor performance’.
When she quit in February, she reported MedExpress anonymously to the General Pharmaceutical Council (GPhC) for alleged health and safety breaches.
She told the tribunal: ‘The company resold used, returned medication and used, returned Covid-19 test kits.
‘The pharmacy manager instructed me and pharmacy staff to enter the returns in a spreadsheet as “binned”. Having done so, we were to return the products to the shelves for resale.
‘There was a significant risk that new patients could become infected by resold medication and Covid-19 test kits.
‘I was concerned the company would try to persuade the GPhC there was no wrongdoing.
‘The online GPhC record showed it conducted a telephone inspection of the pharmacy following my anonymous complaint.
‘They criticised the company for its practices but accepted its evidence on the telephone that returned medications were only resold if not used. I know for a fact that evidence was untrue and have persisted with my complaint.
‘I confirm the GPhC investigation is ongoing. They are taking it very seriously.’
The same day the woman resigned from her role with MedExpress, she made a whistleblowing complaint to the General Pharmaceutical Council claiming the company was re-selling used Covid-19 test kits returned by customers – an allegation which it strongly denies
She accused the firm of breaching her anonymity and privacy, as well as harassing her over her whistleblowing.
Mr Acharya insisted he compared himself to his brother only in terms of their heights and size – ‘without any sexual element’ – and denies asking to be called ‘Big D’.
The firm’s then HR manager Victoria Lee told the tribunal that, after the formal complaint was made against Mr Acharya, she warned all staff not to make inappropriate sexual jokes.
But she opted against suspending Mr Acharya and told the tribunal he had been ‘mortified’ to learn of the allegations against him.
Mr Sykes asked her: ‘He was a heat-seeking missile of a sexual predator going through the workplace, picking on women and pestering them, wasn’t he?’
Sy het geantwoord: ‘He is perfectly entitled to ask women to lunch. Maybe he did not go about it in the right way but I don’t think he is a sexual predator.
‘I don’t believe [the complainant’s] storie. I find the fact that she has had to collect other people’s stories to collaborate her own convenient.’
Die verhoor, due to last ten days, gaan voort.