What’s Been Happening in Australia in Relation to Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying from 18 – 24 April 2022

Boss Ordered To Pay $10,000 For Buttock-Slapping Harassment

A female employee has been awarded $10,000 in damages after her superior repeatedly slapped her on the buttocks at work. The decision was handed down at the end of March 2022. The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal ordered Billy Cheung to pay damages after finding he had sexually harassed the female employee during the six months she was employed at Gumboots Australia Pty Ltd. He would make unwanted physical contact and make comments about her body. The physical contact included trying to give the woman a massage, tickling and slapping her buttocks. The tribunal dismissed the argument that higher damages should’ve been awarded, saying that the employee had alternatives to dealing with the conduct other than resignation.

University of Adelaide Maths Professor Joshua Ross Accused Of Sexual Harassment In Tribunal Documents

Senior Mathematics lecturer at the University of Adelaide, Giang Thu Nguyen, has alleged that Professor Joshua Ross sexually harassed her. She has also accused the University of inadequately dealing with her complaint. Professor Ross is well known for handling South Australia’s COVID-19 modelling. Dr Nyugen seeks $580,000 in damages for breaches to the Equal Opportunity Act. The incident is said to have occured when a group of university employees went for social drinks at a conference in 2019. She went back to the professor’s hotel room and claims to have been sexually assaulted. Dr Nyugen had reported the incident immediately to Yarrow Place and to the University in the following days. Professor Ross is denying the incident, saying it was consensual. The University has said it did support Dr Nyugen following the complaint, but she claims the response was inadequate.

Employer Pays $150,000 To Settle Sexual Harassment, Assault Case Between Co-Workers

The Victorian Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) awarded $150,000 in general damages to a former employee of a male grooming business after she was sexually harassed. During her 11-month period of working at the business she experienced persistent sexual harassment from a co-worker. He made comments about her body, deliberately made sexual jokes, made sexual gestures and request sexual favours. The tribunal rejected the argument made by the employer that they were not vicariously responsible. The employer claimed that the employee handbook was sufficient to negate their liability. The tribunal said that there was no records of employees reading the handbook or additional training being provided to the perpetrator following the complaints.

NAB Employee Accuses Big Four Bank Of “Boys’ Club” Culture, Bullying And Pay Discrimination

Dikele Diawara, a long term employee at National Australia Bank (NAB) has taken legal action against the company for sexual and racial discrimination. Ms Diawara alleges that NAB has a “boys’ club” culture. She claims to have been subjected to years of negative behaviour from her boss, including being threatened with a baseball bat. She made a 17-page complaint that also included evidence of “discriminatory pay practices”. This aligns with other findings that pay gaps between male and female employees come from the use of pay secrecy clauses. Ms Diawara was ignored and excluded after raising her concerns to the company. An NAB spokesperson has responded to the allegations, saying that the bank is committed to diversity.

BHP Miner Sacked Over Groping, Lewd Comments

A fly-in, fly-out technician was dismissed by BHP for sexually harassing two cleaners. The cleaners were working at a mine village at the company’s Yandi iron ore mine. The perpetrator, Dean Dunlop, sexually harassed the women in two separate occasions. He was fired only days after BHP had spoken to the parliamentary inquiry, saying it sacked 48 employees for sexual harassment over a two year period. Mr Dunlop was 58 at the time when he hugged a female employee without her consent and whispered a sexual remark in her ear. Later that same year he groped an 18-year old housekeeper. The Commission concluded that Mr Dunlop’s dismissal was not harsh or unreasonable. He was not unfairly dismissed.