Sheffield hairdresser ‘suicidal’ after false allegations

Andrew Rodgers, at Funky Divas
Andrew Rodgers, at Funky Divas
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A Sheffield hairdresser said he was driven to the brink of suicide after unfounded allegations of bullying and sexism from a former employee forced him to have a nervous breakdown.

Andrew Rodgers founder of three Funky Divas salons in Sheffield was accused of sex discrimination, harassment and unfair dismissal by an ex worker.

The claims against the 34-year-old from Parson Cross were dismissed by a Sheffield employment tribunal.

Andrew who has run the salons for 11 years, said: “It was very upsetting and totally changed my character. I didn’t leave the house. I was so upset I considered taking my own life.

“One day I got so teary I found myself sitting in the middle of the street with no idea where I belonged or who I was.”

Andrew, who is gay, said the case cost him over £10,000 in legal fees and his ex staff had painted him as a ‘woman hater’.

He said: “It’s ridiculous. I employ 30 people and 26 of them are women.”

The tribunal heard he threatened to employ only ‘fat, gay and lesbian’ stylists because he was ‘fed up with staff having babies’.

But Andrew said: “That was clearly untrue none of my staff are fat, or lesbians.’

Salon manager Natasha Bramhall, aged 26, from Darnall, claimed she was bullied out of her job after having her son.

One ex-employee claimed she went into early labour in the salon, while another said she had miscarried in a staff toilet at the salon.

Both said they wanted to avoid telling Andrew they needed time off.

He said: “Both claims were completely untrue.”

In a judgement the tribunal said complaints of sex discrimination, maternity discrimination, constructive dismissal and harassment all failed through “lack of jurisdiction but also on their own merits”.

However, Andrew was told he had illegally deducted two weeks wages from Miss Bramhall when she went on holiday and must pay the money back.

He said: “Everyone who knows me knows I would never do any of this. 
“The tribunal took so long it caused serious damage to my reputation and my family. My mum was distraught, she’s always been so proud of me.”