She said that when Kinghorn first referred to her as a “bird” in February 2018, she immediately confronted him. However, she said he continued to refer to her as “bird” regardless.
At the tribunal, he accepted that his language was inappropriate.
Judge John Crosfill said: “The use of the phrase ‘bird’ was a misplaced use of irony which inadvertently caused offence.
“We accept that when this was pointed out to [Kinghorn], he ultimately got the message and stopped trying to be funny. We find that it is likely that it took some time before Ms Lacatus was sufficiently blunt that the message hit home.
“The language is plainly sexist (whether misplaced irony or not).”
The employment tribunal also ruled that Lacatus would have been reluctant to speak out about her boss’s language over fears it could damage her career.
Some weren’t sold on the judge’s decision, with former UKIP politician Henry Bolton highlighting that the context in which the term is used is important:
There’s something worryingly odd going on. Calling a woman ‘bird’, like any term can be done negatively. But it cle… https://t.co/T1S9qc16O3
— Henry Bolton OBE 🇬🇧 (@Henry Bolton OBE 🇬🇧)
@f_longfield @Saffiya_Khan1 @JessfromW @PoliticsForAlI Tell me an instance someone has used bird to be sexist. Not… https://t.co/Dll5wac6IU
Others poked fun at the ruling, saying the feathered variety of “birds” are the superior species:
Lacatus also won her claim that Barclays failed to accommodate her request for adjusted working hours to accommodate because of her endometriosis and anxiety. Averaging between 40 and 48 hours a week, the analyst was often expected to work past 7pm.
Judge Crosfill said being required to work long hours put her at a “substantial disadvantage” compared to those without a disability.
Failing to adjust her hours was a “serious act of discrimination”, Judge Crosfill said.
He said: “As her illness progressed, Ms Lacatus became progressively more exhausted.
“We accept that working as hard as the team did was tough on everybody but doing so whilst coping with endometriosis and stress and anxiety would make it much harder.”
Lacatus was signed off in January 2019 and was later made redundant.
A hearing to decide compensation will take place at a later date.