A male worker and an employer that pledged to indemnify him after he was accused of sexual assaulting a female colleague have been ordered to jointly pay her $130,000 in damages for pain and suffering and for the company to pay a further $20,000 in aggravated damages, after it conducted a "trenchant defence" of the perpetrator, who took advantage of the young woman after she collapsed at work.
Employers should be subject to a stronger onus to prevent s-xual harassment under the existing positive duty to provide safe workplaces under OHS laws, while the Fair Work Act should be amended to include explicit anti-harassment rights, according to Victoria Legal Aid.
The FWC has told an employer that it must accept responsibility for a "suboptimal" workplace culture that it could have reset before sacking two senior wharf workers who verbally abused a female colleague, but it upheld their dismissals for behaviour that "crossed the line".
The ACTU will use the results of a large online survey showing more than 60% of female respondents have experienced workplace sexual harassment to push its case for the FWC to be given the power to resolve related disputes.
Social media "moves the dial" on harassing workplace behaviour and will contribute to more litigation flowing through to the courts, according to Australian Human Resources Institute chair Peter Wilson.
Fewer than one in five people who experienced workplace s-xual harassment in the last five years made a formal report or complaint about it, according to a new national survey by the Australian Human Rights Commission.
A leading workplace academic has called on legislators to consider a UK parliamentary inquiry's recommendation to impose a legal obligation to protect workers from sexual harassment, with breaches resulting in "substantial financial penalties".
The FWC has praised Australia Post subsidiary Startrack Express for its flawless process in dismissing an employee who "crossed a line" from tolerable crudity to unacceptable racism in his remarks to colleagues.
The Human Rights Commission says it will examine the scale, drivers and consequences of workplace sexual harassment and develop recommendations drawn from current best practice as part of a 12-month inquiry announced today.
The FWC has upheld the sacking of a long-serving handyman for serious misconduct that included continually touching a young receptionist, finding it was "understandable" given their age difference that she did not feel able to tell him to stop.