Anti-Discrimination Board of NSW

Harassed on work trip

Conciliations - Sexual harassment in employment

A woman who worked for an education company alleged that her manager was a misogynistic bully who was demeaning to women, both staff and clients. Then when she worked on trip with him, he harassed her sexually.

The incidents she described included inappropriate physical contact while tightening a seat belt, trying to drag her into a swimming pool while she was clothed, and several sexual innuendos.

She resigned from the company and made a complaint to the Board, saying that the experience had affected her ability to seek work and her relationships. The company denied all the allegations, saying that the manager had no intent to harass, and the complainant was being performance managed which had led to 'bad blood'.

The conciliator highlighted the fact that under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW), intention to harass is not relevant. The relevant criterion is whether a reasonable person in the harasser’s situation should have realised that the victim might be offended, humiliated or intimidated.

The complaint was settled when the company representatives agreed to engage the Anti-Discrimination Board to provide training for all staff and pay the complainant $10,000 in compensation.

What does the law say about sexual harassment?

Anti-discrimination law defines sexual harassment as: 

  • unwanted sexual advances, or unwelcome requests for sexual favours; or other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature; and
  • in the circumstances, a reasonable person would have expected you to be offended, humiliated or intimidated by this behaviour.​​

More information on sexual harassment

Back to September 2018 - Equal Time Newsletter

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