Amit Kajla, a 22-year-old former prison officer, has won her case for unfair dismissal from HM’s Prison Service on the grounds of age and sex discrimination. She was forced to quit her job following bullying from other staff, who accused her of being ‘too sexy’ to work as a prison warden, mocked her for being small and feminine and claimed she provoked inmates by wearing make up and altering her uniform so it fitted her 5′ frame.
“I am very happy with the tribunal’s decision. All I ever did was try to uphold the prison service’s Purpose Statement. This clearly states that their duty is to ‘look after prisoners with humanity’ and I sought to apply that in my work by treating prisoners with respect.”
“One officer didn’t like my way of working which was counter to the macho approach he favoured. I was seen as a weak woman who could be bullied. I am very happy they have condemned Her Majesty’s Prison Service for the way they sought to justify the actions of the bully, by suggesting that my approach to work and my appearance was inappropriate and could create a breach in security.”
Yet another example of women being judged and blamed for our appearance and gender: neither are an excuse to treat us unfairly, and it’s fantastic that Kajla has achieved official condemnation of her colleagues’ and employers’ behaviour.