What’s Been Happening in Australia in Relation to Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying from 12th August 2019 – 18th August 2019

Trainee Doctors Take Legal Action Against Sunshine Hospital
Trainee doctors in Victoria have launched proceedings in the Fair Work Commission against Melbourne’s Sunshine Hospital amid claims of bullying, harassment and exploitation. The accusations are the latest in a growing list of complaints of poor working conditions within Australia’s public hospital system. Trainee registrar doctors at Sunshine Hospital have engaged the Australian Medical Association’s (AMA) Victorian branch to represent them in their bid against Western Health, the organisation responsible for running the hospital. The junior doctors claim they are forced to work more than 60 hours a week. One registrar, who spoke to The Age, described a toxic and intimidating culture in which trainees were pressured to fudge their overtime hours. ‘Not being able to receive critical training is symbolic of a hospital where the workload is out of control and you’re staying back just to make sure patients are safe,’ the trainee doctor said. ‘But they (Sunshine Hospital management) often question why you can’t get everything done in your shift and blame you for it. It makes you feel powerless, embarrassed and frustrated’. The trainee doctor also described instances where registrars were on call for 10 days straight and not given a 10-hour break between shifts. It was not uncommon to see junior doctors crying in the residential quarters ‘because they felt so overstretched, overworked and that they weren’t doing their job well enough’, she added. These claims echo findings of the AMA that approximately 40 per cent of Victorian trainee doctors have experienced discrimination, sexual harassment or bullying. A further 40 per cent said the pressure of the job was taking a toll on their mental health, with many fearing they could make an error due to clinical fatigue.

Research Shows Females Within Transport Industry are Bullied and Discriminated
New researchNew researchNew research conducted by fleet software management company, Teletrac Navman, found that females within Australia’s transport industry are ‘feeling undervalued and experiencing misogyny, bullying and discriminationfemales within Australia’s transport industry are ‘feeling undervalued and experiencing misogyny, bullying and discriminationfemales within Australia’s transport industry are ‘feeling undervalued and experiencing misogyny, bullying and discrimination’. The survey found that 72.1 per cent of females within the industry have ‘faced, or believe they will face, discrimination in transport’. The whitepaper also found that female employees feel that men with less experience are often promoted above them, while they stay in lower-paying positions.

Ombudsman Launches Bullying Investigation of Subway
The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched an investigation into Subway Australia, following allegations of ‘bullying and intimidation’allegations of ‘bullying and intimidation’allegations of ‘bullying and intimidation’. In 2018-19 financial year, Subway closed numerous stores and experienced a rapid decline in popularity throughout Australia. The recent allegations of chronic underpayment and bullying of staff could accelerate this downward decline. In an investigative piece which aired allegations against the sandwich franchise, a former Subway employee told The Age she experienced serial bullying. This included receiving passive-aggressive texts from her employers, who told her she was being watched remotely via security cameras. A Subway spokesperson has been quick to place blame on the franchisees, telling Business Insider Australia that ‘it is the responsibility of business owners to ensure they are compliant with Australian rules and regulations’. ‘Subway takes these matters very seriously and franchise owners are expected to meet all regulatory, financial reporting, workplace and employment requirements,’ the spokesperson said. ‘Non-compliance is unacceptable and can lead to termination of an owner’s franchise agreement’.

Legal Action Against Vodafone for Discrimination Based on Age and Gender
Carmel Williamson, former managing director of WPP Team Red, has commenced legal action against the Vodafone agency, alleging harassment and unfair dismissalalleging harassment and unfair dismissalalleging harassment and unfair dismissal. Ms William alleged that the ‘boys club’ culture at WPP resulted in her dismissal. Paul Everson, managing director of WPP, has been named by Ms Williamson as a key perpetrator. In her filings to the Federal Circuit Court, Williamson alleged that Everson fabricated allegations against her. This included accusations that Ms Williamson made members of Mr Everson’s team cry. In her bid for a $400,000 damages award, Williamson alleges that she was discriminated against, and consequently dismissed, based on her age and gender. Part of the award sought by Ms Williamson comprises compensation for psychological harm. She noted that during her time at WPP, she felt humiliated and distressed. During her employment, she suffered from rashes on her neck and chest and significant weight loss.