Monday, February 11, 2013

Singaporean Lawrence Bernard Wee Kim San sues Robinsons for alleged 'gay' harassment

Singaporean Lawrence Bernard Wee Kim San, a 40 years old ex-senior manager of Robinsons, has sued the company for claiming "constructive dismissal". He claimed that "his former boss at the departmental store, Mr Jim McCallum, had harassed him because he did not agree with Mr Wee's homosexuality":

"Mr Wee claimed he resigned from Robinsons last August "not as a matter of choice", but due to "unrelenting and unceasing persecution" by Mr McCallum, who is the Asia head of the store's Middle-Eastern owner, the Al-Futtaim Group. Mr Wee claimed that in April or May last year, his direct supervisor, Mr Shia Yew Peck, was told by Mr McCallum that "anything from Lawrence cannot be right to begin with as Lawrence is wrong already as a person". A few months earlier, Mr Shia, who has known since 2006 that Mr Wee is gay, had allegedly asked him whether he had ever considered turning "straight"."
Robinsons on the other hand denied Mr. Wee's claims and claimed that Mr Wee is the one who made the decision to leave last June "to pursue other interest, outside of Robinsons effective 2013":

Robinsons denies Mr Wee's claims that he was unfairly harassed by his boss, Mr Jim McCallum. The company also expressed dissatisfaction with Mr Wee's failure to provide written or verbal proof of his claims of what Mr McCallum had said to him or to his supervisor, Mr Shia Yew Peck. 
It denies that any of Mr Wee's claims are true, including his claim that Mr McCallum had told Mr Shia that Mr Wee" is wrong already as a person". In defence papers filed in the High Court, Robinsons said Mr Wee had tendered his resignation twice in his six years with the store, to pursue other career opportunities.
Source : Persecuted at work because he's gay

A man suing his former company with claims of harassment due to his homosexuality is believed to be the first of its kind here in Singapore. Male same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Singapore, though the law is generally not enforced.

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