What’s Been Happening in Australia in Relation to Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying from 30 December 2019 – 5 January 2020

Male MP Slapped Female MP on her Rear
South Australian Liberal MP, Sam Duluk, has stepped down from the Economics and Finance parliamentary committee after being accused of sexually harassing a fellow politician. Connie Bonaros, a MP for ‘SA Best’, accused Sam Duluk of inappropriate conduct during a state Parliament Christmas function. She claimed that, during the event, Duluk slapped her on the rear and sent her unwanted text messages. The Liberal backbencher and member for the seat of Waite took to twitter to respond to the claims, saying he was ‘deeply sorry’ for his actions. A state government spokesperson has since confirmed that ‘the premier was made aware of the alleged incident and was informed that necessary processes were being followed.’ ‘Upon hearing of the matter, the premier counselled the member to apologise to those involved,’ the statement added. South Australian premier, Steven Marshall, said there are no plans to expel Duluk from the party nor call for his resignation from parliament.

Employee Dismissed for Being ‘Too Old to Work’ was Unfair
Last week, Graham Jones, aged 74, won an unfair dismissal case (in the case of Leslie Jones v S & Q Group Pty Ltd) after the Fair Work Commission found he had a ‘reasonable expectation of ongoing employment.’ Jones, who worked in a handyman capacity for a New South Wales motel group, was fired after his manager said he was too old to be working and should be ‘enjoying retirement’. However, Jones showed no intention of slowing down. ‘Work is therapeutic for me – I am not the kind of guy that can put my feet up and read a novel,’ he said. ‘I know younger people who can’t keep up with me. I still ride a pushbike for 30 kilometres.’ Fair Work commissioner Bernie Riordan said concerns that Jones was not strong enough to do the job ‘defied logic’ and were ‘inappropriate and condescending’. Commissioner Riordan concluded that Jones’ dismissal ‘unsound, capricious and fanciful’.