Tribunal has dismissed the lawsuit of a banker who sent lewd messages to a young girl he worked for.
Tarique Elimlahi (now 35) began messaging Tarique on WhatsApp with the 18-year old-girl after she interviewed him. The conversation quickly turned ‘intimate,’ and he called her his ‘babe.
Metro Bank Analyst asked her questions about her size and what she was wearing to bed. He encouraged her to send him naked photos, as well as stories of his sexual encounters.
Elimlahi (who is divorcing and lived with his mother) discussed their 15 year age difference and added: “Sometimes it’s hot if she calls you daddy.”
He was then escorted to a Metro Bank hearing for misconduct and fired.
His attempt to sue Metro Bank over age discrimination at an employment tribunal and harassment has now been rejected. With a judge rejecting his claims and calling him ‘utterly hopeful’.
Tarique Elimlahi was 35 years old when he interview a young girl to fill a call centre job.
London Central Employment Tribunal Centre heard commercial risk analyst Elimlahi, on £36,000 a year, worked at Metro Bank from 2010 to 2020.
The young, unnamed recruit was interviewed by him in January 2020 for a position at the Metro Bank call centre. She accepted it.
He began to message her via WhatsApp and LinkedIn. Elimlahi, according to her, made her feel uncomfortable and she later withdrew the application.
The tribunal reported that Elimlahi initiated the conversation. They quickly became intimate and informal. He called her “babe “… in their early days and demanded that she tell him all about herself.
He joked with her about how he used WhatsApp to get his name correct and suggested that HR might be involved if she did.
Elimlahi then messaged her on WhatsApp, asking intimate questions. In addition to describing the sexual encounter he claimed to be having in the work toilets, he also shared details of a conversation involving the girl.
“He continued, “An instant later, he moved the conversation to her pajamas. He wanted to know which kind she was currently wearing.”
He suggested a “deal” and stated that “anything said or done between us remains between us.”
He then asked her for a photograph… Finally, he offered to play dare with him, with the possibility of asking any question he/she likes.
He asked her about what she disliked about herself. She was unhappy with her nose, and she said that she felt insecure.
The discussion then turned to “young girls”, and “older men”. It’s not always hot when a girl calls your daddy. You don’t have to do it.
Elimlahi shared with the girl details of an alleged sexual encounter in Metro Bank’s toilet.
“He continued the conversation by referring to nude photos, saying he wouldn’t request them but then adding that he’d rather show it to me than ask because ‘it’s more hot this way’.
He returned, seemingly without warning and a few moments later, to MK’s subject in the interview. He made some generalised comments about her performance but continued on, saying, “So, I’ll.” [be] honest. You got the benefit of my doubt [and]”I feel that I made the right choice.” Don’t let me regret it’.’
MK ended their conversation after telling her that he lives with his mom.
According to the tribunal, Elimlahi felt that he had been ‘harased’ by being asked awkward questions and unwanted comments about his behavior during investigation
Elimlahi was dismissed for gross misconduct. Bosses were worried that Elimlahi had an ‘lackof understanding’ and showed remorse regarding the imbalance in power and age.
He appealed, and was sent a last written warning. The next day, he decided to resign, complaining about being ‘discriminated’ because he brought his age to the company.
He maintained that nothing had gone wrong and just engaged in a private exchange, which he acknowledged was “stupid” and silly between two adults.
Tribunal heard that he felt “harassed” because he was asked awkward, unwelcome questions regarding his behavior during the investigation.
Anthony Snelson, Employment Judge dismissed Anthony’s claims for unfair constructive dismissal and direct age discrimination.
Judge Snelson stated that it was not detrimental to bring up the age question.
“On any reasonable view, the apparent power imbalance between Elimlahi, MK, was an area of inquiry, and the age gap between them was equally obvious was one aspect.