A high-flying recruitment consultant wept as she told how her boss forced her to share a 'private lap-dance' by strippers with him to win business from clients.
Rachel Kelly, 38, said that she was bullied into taking a client to a Spearmint Rhino lap-dancing club by her line manager Danny Whelan.
At the end of the trio's boozy dinner at the upmarket Oxo Tower restaurant in London, Mr Whelan told the £100,000-a-year recruiter it was 'unacceptable' for her to go home, she said.
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At the club, he allegedly reminded her that he was her boss and insisted on taking her with him into a side-room for a one-on-one 'private dance' performed by a stripper.
She said that he told her that her job with leading IT recruitment agency IDPP Consulting required her to entertain clients at lap-dancing clubs to 'get a competitive advantage' over rivals.
Miss Kelly told the London South employment tribunal how another 'overly flirtatious' client groped her in the back of a taxi after she warned Mr Whelan not to leave her alone with him.
Mr Whelan allegedly told her the incident was a good sign that the client would put more business her way and joked that he should leave the pair alone more often.
She resigned in October last year after company chiefs allegedly ignored her complaints about Mr Whelan, and warned her she 'could be dumped'.
Miss Kelly, of Isleworth, Middlesex, is suing IDPP Consulting and Mr Whelan for sexual harassment.
She is also claiming victimisation and constructive dismissal and is believed to be demanding in the region of £175,000 in compensation for lost earnings and hurt feelings.
IDPP has over 400 staff at offices throughout Europe and a turnover of £40million from around 100 clients, including the likes of IBM and Accenture.
Giving evidence, Miss Kelly told how she joined the agency's Richmond office in south-west London in January 2007 after 11 years in the industry.
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She won two best newcomer awards that year and was swiftly promoted to the post of sales team leader, specialising in the Scandinavian market.
She broke down as she recalled how she tried to avoid going to the Spearmint Rhino flagship club in Tottenham Court Road with her Norwegian client and Mr Whelan in August 2007.
She said: 'I told Danny that I did not want to go to that sort of establishment but that I was happy for the two of them to go on without me and I would return home.
'Danny responded by saying that was not acceptable and that I had to accompany them as it was my responsibility to entertain clients. I therefore felt I had no option but to go along with them.'
Once inside, she grew uneasy at being surrounded by strippers. She said: 'I realised that I was the only female in the audience, a fact which made me very uncomfortable.'
She told how the two men each paid for a number of private dances. She went on: 'Danny then suggested that I should accompany him into the room for a private dance.
'I told him that I would rather not. However, Danny was very insistent. He was becoming angry with me. He said that I was giving the client the impression that I was not enjoying myself and that he wanted me to accompany him to show the client that this was not the case.'
She said that Mr Whelan reminded her that he was her line manager, adding: 'Eventually, I went with him for a private dance under great duress.'
Miss Kelly said of the experience: 'During the dance, I felt distraught and upset to see this young girl do this kind of thing for a living.'
When she complained to Mr Whelan afterwards and made to leave, he launched into a foul-mouthed tirade.
She said: 'Danny told me to "shut up and stop moaning" and that this was the way I had to entertain clients in order to compete with other consultancies.'
In November 2007, Mr Whelan sent her to meet a second client in a Leicester Square pub, insisting that she could 'handle him on her own' despite her concerns about his inappropriate phone calls and emails.
Recalling how the client then 'tried it on' in the back of a taxi, she said: 'He became physical towards me. He began holding my hands and became intimate with me by putting his arm around my shoulder.
'I tried to move away from him and I removed my hand from his grasp but he persisted in his advances. I was very distressed.'
She said that Mr Whelan was 'unsympathetic' afterwards and accused her of making 'too much fuss'.
He later joked to colleagues that he should leave Miss Kelly alone with the client more often so that 'she would get more business' The client sent her a follow-up email saying 'What I did, implied etc was not unintentional and I do not regret it'.
Miss Kelly also accused Mr Whelan of drunkenly calling another woman colleague a 'Paki' and adding the jibe that he 'could do much better than her'.
After she complained about him, Mr Whelan began disciplining her for supposedly failing to meet performance targets, giving her a verbal and then written warning in the space of two weeks in April 2008, she said.
He suggested she resign and in June 2008 the company's chairman John Holmes warned her she 'could be dumped', she said.
She felt she had no choice but to resign in October 2008, she said. Mr Whelan was never disciplined but has since left IDPP, the tribunal heard.
Giving evidence, Mr Whelan referred to the visit to Spearmint Rhino as a 'business meeting'. He said: 'We went there to get a competitive advantage'.
He claimed that he was being 'gentlemanly' by offering to go with Miss Kelly for a private dance because the client was pestering her to have one with him.
He said: 'I thought she would be safer in my company than going with the client. We could have a quick catch-up about what had been discussed business-wise.
'We had a laugh about how the client looked very comfortable and how many times he had been there before.'
He claimed that Miss Kelly was laughing while the stripper performed for them in the private booth and thought it 'odd' when she insisted on leaving the club afterwards.
He said: 'I felt that there was more information we could have got from the client. We could get it from him when he was at his most relaxed and use it to our benefit.'
He said that Miss Kelly never made it clear to him that she was worried about being alone with the second client.
He said: 'If she had done, I would have done something about it.'
He added: 'What the guy did was wrong. Rachel was the one who did not want to do anything about it and seemed to move on quite quickly.'
IDPP and Mr Whelan deny Miss Kelly's tribunal claims. The tribunal panel is expected to deliver its judgment next month.
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