Photographic evidence for sexual harrassment
Queensland’s Industrial Court has ruled a State Library employee is entitled to worker’s compensation, after suffering psychological distress due to her supervisor taking photos of her chest without her consent.
On 22 December 2014 Queensland Industrial Relations Commission (QIRC) ruled the photographing of the woman’s cleavage was not a workplace issue, despite the photo being taken on a work-supplied iPhone at the library and transferred to a library-supplied laptop.
However, Industrial Court President Justice Glenn Martin, has overruled the QIRC’s ruling, stating the evidence clearly showed the psychiatric distress the employee suffered was greatly magnified by the fact that the photographs were taken at work by a supervisor.
Justice Martin also found that the Library did not act appropriately when the employee approached senior management with her concerns.
The employee went to her managers after rumours circulated within the workplace that a supervisor was under suspicion of taking photos of female employees’ and library visitors’ chests without their knowledge.
Whilst management confirmed the existence of the photos, they delayed in providing the employee with copies as requested. It was only after numerous reminders by the employee that management finally sent her copies of the photos in the mail. During this time, the employee went on a period of sick leave.
It was found that over 2,784 close up photos of numerous women were discovered on the supervisor’s government issued iPhone and iPad, clearly taken without consent.
The employee was found to be entitled to two year’s worker’s compensation payments for stress and psychiatric injuries triggered by the photography.
Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe workplace for all employees. This can be done through training and education also as implementing policies and procedures tailored to your workplace. Employers who fail to do so are not only putting their staff at risk but they are also leaving themselves open to fines and investigations. If you need assistance, Call Employsure today on 1300 651 415.
Sourced via Workplace Express