Photo of Female Worker Bound in Duct Tape Horrifies Scotland

DeeAnn Fitzpatrick says male co-workers at government agency created toxic environment
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted May 25, 2018 8:59 AM CDT
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is seen outside a general election polling station in Glasgow on June 8, 2017.   (Andrew Milligan/PA via AP)

(Newser) – She said her co-workers made fun of her for having a miscarriage, hurled sexist and racist language at her and others, and then, the final straw: They duct-taped her to a chair and gagged her. Now, per the New York Times, DeeAnn Fitzpatrick will get her day in court. The 49-year-old will next month seek a judgment against her former employer, a Scottish government fisheries agency, over what she says was a work environment rife with harassment, sexism, and bullying. What's causing the most shock waves: a picture of her (see it here) reportedly taken by two Marine Scotland co-workers in 2010 as a "warning." It shows her wrapped in duct tape and bound to a chair, with duct tape also covering her mouth. "I was taped to a chair by two of my colleagues and told, 'This is what happens when you speak out against the boys,'" she told a judge in 2017, the year she launched her case over the "threatening and misogynistic culture."

Fitzpatrick says she told a manager about the alleged attack afterward and was told it was "the boys just being boys," though he said he'd have "a word" with the men involved, per the BBC. Jody Paske, who was allegedly involved but doesn't work for Marine Scotland anymore, says Fitzpatrick's claims are "lies," but even if it had happened, it would've been "office banter"; Reid Anderson, said to be recently promoted at the agency, didn't comment. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon says she's "absolutely horrified" at the pic; Labour Party member Monica Lennon calls the alleged incident "vile." "This is not 'office banter' or 'boys being boys.' This is abuse," she tweeted. Unfortunately for Fitzpatrick, who'll appear before an employment tribunal in mid-June, the photo can't be considered due to the statute of limitations.

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