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Bullying & HarassmentDecember 3, 2015
A Melbourne lingerie store manager has won an adverse action claim against her boss after he allegedly called her ‘a little slut’.
Monique Crawford told the Federal Circuit Court that her regional director had behaved inappropriately towards her at a company dinner in April last year. After he began brushing his leg against hers, she politely rebuffed his advances and made it clear she was uncomfortable.
Ms Crawford claimed the following day when she was required to report the daily sales figures to her regional manager over the phone, it was obvious their working relationship had been affected.
Crawford claims her regional manager was quiet on the phone, then stated she had ruined his night, called her a ‘little slut’ and hung up.
Ms Crawford took her adverse action claim to the court, as she believed her six month contract with the company was not renewed due to her raising concerns. She stated she had reported the incident to her national regional manager, however her concerns were never addressed. Instead, she received a letter one month later saying her six month contract had ended and would not be renewed.
Ms Crawford’s employers told the court their decision to not renew her contract was not a result of her sexual harassment claim. Instead, they claimed they found her unsuitable for the role.
Judge John O’Sullivan ruled, however, that the lingerie retailer took adverse action against Ms Crawford by refusing to renew her job after she complained about the incident, and this amounted to a breach of workplace law.
Judge O’Sullivan has ruled Ms Crawford be compensated for loss of income, with the amount yet to be determined.
Employers have the responsibility to provide a safe workplace for all employees and to respond appropriately should any worker raise concerns. If you need help implementing sexual harassment measures in your workplace, call Employsure today on 1300 651 415.
Sourced via Sydney Morning Herald