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Conciliations - victimisation

Employment

Alleged lack of support after complaint

Following an initial complaint of sexual harassment, a female employee of a government agency made a complaint of victimisation and disability discrimination against her employer and a number of individual colleagues.

The woman had been off work because of stress-related illness after the incidents on which the initial complaint was based. She alleged that when she returned to work her employer did not assist or support her adequately, and some of her colleagues refused to work with her. Eventually her position was made redundant, although she was offered redeployment.

Following discussions with the Board, both parties eventually agreed that it was no longer tenable for the woman to continue working at the organisation. The complaint was settled when the employer agreed to offer the woman a redundancy.

Dismissed after lodging a complaint

A man complained to his boss about race discrimination and was dismissed the next day. At conciliation, the employer agreed that they had done the wrong thing by dismissing the man and not taking his complaint of race discrimination seriously. The man was reinstated and received $4,000 for the racial discrimination.

Scrutinised and dismissed after complaint

A woman who worked for a small business was sexually harassed by the boss who touched her inappropriately and leered at her. When she complained to the owner, her work performance was scrutinised more than it had been before and she was ultimately dismissed. The business owner denied that he’d sexually harassed her, and said that her work performance had been lacking all along, and it was just coincidence that she’d been dismissed after she’d made the complaint.

The complaint was settled when the employer agreed to pay financial compensation to the woman, to send a member of staff to training on how to prevent discrimination and harassment, and to implement policies and procedures to deal with discrimination and harassment issues.

Over-vigilance after giving evidence

A defacto couple alleged unlawful discrimination in employment on numerous grounds against their employer. These included disability, sex, sexual harassment and victimisation. The central allegation was that management became over-vigilant towards them after they gave evidence in relation to a sexual harassment investigation. The matter resolved when they accepted a payment $2,500 each, in settlement of their various complaints.

Problems after maternity leave

A woman alleged that her employer refused to allow her to return from maternity leave to her substantive position on a job-share or part-time basis. She alleged that the job provided to her on her return amounted to a demotion, and that the company refused her request to organise parts of her work around the availability of her child-care. She also alleged that the CEO bullied her after she raised the matter as an internal grievance, and lodged a further complaint alleging that she was constructively dismissed from her employment. All these matters were conciliated on the Board on the basis of an ex-gratia payment of $16,000.

Not offered job after doing it for five years

A man was employed by a labour hire company as a driver for another company for five years. He alleged that the other company then encouraged him to apply for direct employment with them. The man did this, but was later advised that he was unsuccessful because he did not meet the company’s auditory standard. The man said that he had already demonstrated his ability to perform the required work because he’d done it for five years.

He also alleged that he was victimised after he complained about what had happened to him because the company then refused to have him on their worksite. This meant that the labour hire company couldn’t provide him any more work there. The complaint was resolved at the Board when the company’s national manager of human resources intervened and the man accepted an offer of direct employment with the company.

Terminated after various complaints

A man who worked as a labourer alleged that he was subjected racial harassment including personal taunts and graffiti on toilet walls and other workplace areas. He also alleged sexual harassment and disability discrimination after a workplace injury, when he was prevented from returning to his substantive position. He also alleged that he was victimised by his employer because his employment was terminated partly because he had complained to management about these issues.

At conciliation, the man agreed to withdraw his complaints of disability discrimination and victimisation and settled the remaining complaints with an undisclosed sum of money.