What’s Been Happening in Australia in Relation to Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying from 10 – 16 July 2017?

Employee Alleges Serious Bullying Allegation from Founder of Vili’s Pies
Former Sales Account Manager Colin Graham has filed a writ in the Supreme Court alleging that he was subject to workplace bullying at the hands of Vilmos Milisits, the founder of Vili’s Pies. Mr Graham alleges that Mr Milisits subjected him to “relentless bullying and harassment” which commenced at his initial job interview where Mr Milisits made a number of derogatory homophobic remarks. Mr Graham claims that Mr Milisits subjected him to continual abuse during the course of his employment, making comments like: “Mind your own f***ing business and get out and sell”; “What the f*** is your job, you should be out selling”; and “Why did you get a f***ing woman to do a man’s job.” Mr Graham claims that the continual abuse that he was subjected to has resulted in psychological injuries that will prevent him from being able to work in the future. Mr Milisits has denied the allegations.

Former Employee of Knight Frank Alleges Being Bullied After Complaining About Workplace Culture
Matt Whitby, former National Head of Research and Consulting at Knight Frank Australia, has lodged an unfair dismissal claim in the Federal Court. Mr Whitby alleges that he was dismissed after he complained about the leadership and culture at the company and the manner in which an investigation into complaints made about him had been carried out. Further, Mr Whitby alleges that he was bullied and harassed during the course of his employment by senior staff members including Chief Executive Stephen Ellis and Chief Operating Officer Justin Jeffries. Knight Frank has denied to Mr Whitby’s allegations, stating that Mr Whitby’s employment was terminated due to misconduct. The matter is currently before Justice Anna Katzmann in the Federal Court.

ACT Greens 2016 Campaign Issues
The ACT Greens have been under the spotlight after two women who volunteered in the 2016 Federal election campaign have made allegations of sexual harassment and exploitation. A 21-year-old volunteer alleged that, despite advising her superiors that she suffered from mental health issues, she was given such a heavy workload that she attempted suicide. Another 22-year-old woman has alleged that a party member sexually assaulted her on the night of the 2016 Federal election. The woman claims that she had previously raised a sexual harassment complaint with management in relation to the same party member. The woman reported the incident in February 2017. Police are currently investigating the alleged assault. An independent review of the ACT Greens 2016 campaigns has highlighted that “there were problems in the campaign, including in relation to the culture.” The review recommended that the ACT Greens issue an apology and an acknowledgement that there were a number of problems with the campaign. The ACT Greens have stated that the party has accepted these recommendations.

Culture of “Threats and Intimidation” at John Hunter Hospital
Support staff at John Hunter Hospital walked off the job on Thursday morning to protest the “culture of threats and intimidation” which they claim exists within the hospital. The Health Services Union has stated that the central issue is the management of a particular department of the hospital and the dismissal of an employee who “stood up against being intimidated.” The employee in question has lodged an unfair dismissal claim with the Industrial Relations Commission. The Industrial Relations Commission ordered the staff to recommence work at midday.