Woodside are being sued by their ex principal structural Engineer, Hassan Zaghloul for $42 million. Dr Zaghloul alleges that he was bullied for 2 years by 10 different employees.
The last time this amount of money was talked about was the infamous David Jones, sexual harassment case in which, the complainant, Kristy Fraser-Kirk ended up settling for $850,000- a lot less than her claim for $37 million. While David Jones ended up settling for a lot less than the much publicised figure the CEO lost his job over it and David Jones shares fell.
We will watch and see what happens in this case. Will Woodside settle or will they take the matter to court and come under the scrutiny of the public?
Battling it out in a courtroom is never a pleasant experience for either side. A much better option is for an employer to to minimise its risk of being sued by implementing the following protocols-
1. Have clear, accurate policies in relation to Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying and a good Complaint Management Policy and Procedure that follows the principles of natural justice.
2. Train managers/supervisors to understand what their duty of care requires and how to detect issues at an early stage and how to address them effectively.
3. Educate all staff in relation to their rights and responsibilities in relation to workplace harassment, discrimination and bullying.
4. Offer multiple points of contact for staff either wanting more information about their rights and/or how to make a complaint, through having trained contact officers and trained grievance officers.
5. Offer the option of having a formal investigation conducted by an independent external investigator.
All of these options are far more time and cost effective than going through court.
For more information on suitable equal opportunity training for your workplace, call Sue on (08) 6102 4411