Anti-Discrimination NSW

​Sexually-related video circulated

Conciliation: Sexual Harassment in employment

Published: 3 December 2018

A woman made a complaint of sexual harassment after a video containing sexually-related images of her was circulated to other employees. The video had come into the hands of another staff member after the complainant consulted her personal email at work and inadvertently left it open. 

The complainant left the company soon afterwards. An ex-colleague told her about the video being disseminated and she went to the police and reported the incident. However she didn’t pursue this any further at the time for personal reasons.

Several years later the complainant became aware that the company was attempting to discredit her in relation to another matter by implying she was not reputable. She was spurred by this to make a complaint to the Board about the original incident. 

The complaint was made against the employer, the person who found the video and the person who allegedly circulated it. None of the respondents disputed the basic facts, although the employer said they had not seen the video and it was now destroyed.

At conciliation, the employer and person who allegedly circulated the video gave the complainant a heartfelt verbal apology and without admission of liability agreed to pay her $6,000 in compensation for losses she had sustained  in exchange for a commitment to take no further action relating to her employment with them. The parties also negotiated separately that the person who initially found the video  without acknowledging liability would pay the complainant $5,000 for general damages.

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 Equal Time Newsletter December 2018

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