Man ordered to pay $30,000 for allegedly watching female colleague use toilet

The woman claimed the man watched her use the toilet through a hole in the cubicle wall.
The woman claimed the man watched her use the toilet through a hole in the cubicle wall. Photo credit: Getty Images

A man has been made to pay his former colleague almost $30,000 after claims he sexually harassed her for a period of more than two years.  

The woman took her case to the Human Rights Review Tribunal which has now found in her favour, and ruled Tarun Kumar must pay her $29,000 in compensation as well as just shy of $3000 in lost wages.  

Kumar was accused of a series of events involving sexual harassment in the workshop, including one incident where he watched her through a hole in the toilet wall - a claim he denies. 

A decision released on Wednesday describes how Kumar allegedly constantly commented on her single relationship status, the clothes she wore and her appearance.  

The tribunal did not disclose details of the workplace or where in New Zealand it is.

He would reportedly call her "princess" at work as well as text her inappropriate messages. Throughout his shift, Kumar would often sing love songs in Hindi as the woman walked past, which she felt were directed at her.  

She also claimed he would often stand too close to her at work and invade her personal space, the decision said. 

On one occasion, Kumar allegedly sent the woman a video of another woman's bare buttocks and later laughed about the video outside her office alongside his male colleagues. 

In November 2016, Kumar reportedly entered her office and touched her while she was on the phone. 

The woman claimed he pushed a ring onto her finger before touching her on the shoulder, waist and thigh.  

When she told him to stop, he reportedly said, "What [do] you think you are, a princess? My wife is more beautiful than you", the decision said. 

The woman reported the incident to the workshop's owner who told staff no one was allowed to enter her office while she was inside it.  

That evening, Kumar texted the woman saying, "I'm sorry", the woman told the tribunal. 

Later that month, an employee told her Kumar had been watching the woman use the bathroom through a hole in the cubicle wall, according to the decision. 

The following day she went to the toilet to see if Kumar would follow her and watch her through the hole, however, her attempt at getting a photo of him was unsuccessful.  

When she was returning from a trip to the toilet, she accused Kumar of peeping at her.  

She said he responded by shouting at her in front of the other employees and denied looking through the hole which he claimed had been in the cubicle wall for a long time.   

The woman informed the workshop owner and the landlord of the building and left her job as she was afraid to return to work, said the tribunal. 

She reported the incident to police who referred her to three counselling sessions, where she admitted her life was falling apart and that she was struggling financially after leaving her job.  

Kumar continues to deny the toilet incident and claims the other behaviour was taken out of context and had no intention of sexual nature.