The man boarded the bus at Danderyd hospital on his way home to nearby Täby when the bus driver is alleged to have said:
“Do you think it is fun that I can see your panties?” according to the man’s report to the discrimination ombudsman (DO) which has taken up the case.
The man explained that while he was not wearing panties, his underwear could be seen just above the waist of his trousers.
The bus driver is then alleged to have leaned back in his chair and added:
“In fact, you best leave the bus as I could get turned on.”
While the man described being shocked and angry at the bus driver’s comments, he took a seat further back in the bus and waited for departure.
But five minutes passed and the bus remained stationary. The man began to suspect that he was somehow involved in the delay, at which point two security staff boarded the bus and instructed him to accompany them.
Once on the pavement, and after the bus had departed, the man was told by the guards that he should feel fortunate that the bus driver did not plan to report the matter.
By way of explanation, the man was told by the guards that the driver had not felt comfortable in his position. In his report to DO the man describes how he felt “ridiculed, offended and sexually harassed.”
After a series of calls to SL which failed to result in a satisfactory explanation for the bus driver’s behaviour the man decided to share his story with the local newspaper.
While the subsequent article stimulated some interest in the incident the man’s family were forced to continue to pursue SL, and bus operator Busslink, for an apology.
When finally the man’s mother spoke to the person in charge of the bus station where the driver works, she was offered cinema tickets and a potted plant. This offer was declined and it was suggested that 20,000 kronor ($1,500) would be a more suitable compensation.
It was at this point that the mother suggested to SL that as her son was homosexual there could be an underlying element to the bus driver’s behaviour and referred the matter to the family’s lawyer.
DO ruled in February that the young man’s report, including substantiated witness testimony, supports the allegation that he suffered discrimination due to his sexuality.
DO has invited SL and Busslink to discuss a civil settlement prior to the matter being presented before the courts.