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Employment law: Lawyer sues famous sailor over alleged harassment

A lawyer who participated in the Clipper 'Round the World' sailing challenge is suing Sir Robin Knox-Johnston for alleged harassment whilst on her trip, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Ruth Harvey is an employment law specialist who took a year away from work to participate in the gruelling Clipper 'Round the World' sailing event.

The event was the brainchild of Sir Robin Knox-Johnston, who was the first man to sail single handed around the world back in 1969, and who became the oldest man to achieve the same feat back in 2006.

Sir Robin created the Clipper Round the World race in 1996, in a bid to bring competitive sailing to ordinary professionals with no experience on the water.

Ruth Harvey was one such professional to take up the 11 month challenge back in 2013, raising the £40,000 fee by 'begging and borrowing' for what is considered a 'once in a lifetime' challenge.


However Harvey now claims that she was treated badly whilst on board the boat, and says that she was both victimised and harassed during the event.

Harvey is claiming that because she was part of the crew of the boat she was technically an employee and should therefore benefit from equality and anti-discrimination legislation.

The case has been allocated two days at an employment tribunal in Southampton in November to determine whether she has a case that could be taken forward to a full hearing.

"I was a worker for the provisions of the Employment Rights Act as regards safety and that I was covered by Equality Act provisions "in any capacity" on board as regards harassment" she wrote on the legal website RollOnFriday.com

"Complex legal argument here involves both domestic and EU law and similar recent cases have gone as far as the Supreme Court" she added.

A spokesman for Clipper Ventures said it could not comment on an ongoing legal case.