The Amsterdam stock exchange trader Optiver has to pay a female staff member a total of half a million euros because there is a woman-unfriendly culture in the company.
This is evident from a ruling by the Amsterdam court on Wednesday.
The British woman, who had been hired as a trader at Optiver in 2014, took her employer to court for refusing to meet her demands for a severance package. She had announced at the end of January last year that due to "sexual harassment and discrimination" she could no longer work for Optiver, but was open to an amicable settlement.
She speaks in her defense of "unwanted touches, sexually intimidating gestures, sounds, comments and jokes as well as direct intimidating (bullying) behavior."
In 2016, a colleague allegedly tried to assault her outside of working hours, something Optiver later investigated.
She also denounces that until then there was no clear complaints procedure at the company and the fact that she's accused caused her to miss a promotion.
Do not agree with the severance scheme
In September, Optiver proposed to the trader to take paid leave, after which she would receive a severance package of 277,556 euros, but she did not want to know about that.
She took the company to court and demanded damages of 1.2 million euros, which, with all kinds of compensation, would amount to just under 2 million euros.
However, the judge did not agree.
He believes, among other things, that the woman cannot prove that she has missed a promotion and whether this is directly related to her critical attitude.
Nevertheless, the court finds that Optiver has not sufficiently responded to the woman's complaints and the company must pay her a severance payment of 63,000 euros and an additional compensation of 350,000 euros.
Because the employment contract was terminated in May and the woman was at home all those months, Optiver also has to pay her that overdue salary.
At a monthly wage of 6,250 euros, that is about 94,000 euros and a number of bonuses may be added.
In total, the company pays a sum of 507,000 euros to the British.
Optiver has five offices around the world and is a so-called market broker, who uses technology to anticipate price fluctuations.
470 people work at the head office in Amsterdam, including 75 women.