What’s Been Happening in Australia in Relation to Sexual Harassment, Discrimination and Bullying from 9 – 15 May 2022

Women Facing Burnout, Stress and More Harassment In The Workplace

Deloitte released its Women@Work 2022 report, which revealed that half of Australian women face burnout and higher levels of harassment and microaggressions from colleagues. The survey involved 5000 women in 10 countries. Forty five per cent of women are experiencing low levels of mental health. Women from ethnic minority groups are even more likely to face these challenges in the workplace. The study was particularly interested in assessing how new ‘workplace flexibility’ measures suit women. Ninety four per cent of women surveyed believe that requesting flexible working options would affect their chances of promotion.

National Disability Insurance Agency Accused of Discriminating Against Employees With Disability

In the last five years, NDIA has been sued for alleged disability discrimination by six employees. The ABC recently spoke to over a dozen employees who also claim disability discrimination at NDIA. The agency did not provide adequate assistive technology and physical adjustments to accommodate staff members with a disability. Specifically, some employees reported toilet paper and photocopiers being out of reach for staff members in wheelchairs. The Community and Public Sector Union has confirmed that it regularly receives assistance requests from NDIA staff who are experiencing discrimination.

Virgin Urges Court Dismiss ‘Vague’ Bullying Claims Against It, CEO

Virgin Australia has responded to bullying claims by filing its legal defence to the Federal Court. Virgin accused the former employee of being “vague” in his accusations and that the claims were “not properly pleaded.” Michael Fitzgerald was a former pilot who held the role of head of flying operations from 2017 until March 2022. Virgin contends that the “vague” allegations are grounds for the whole suit to be struck out.

Craig McLachlan Sexually Harassed 11 Women, Defamation Trial Told

Actor Craig McLachlan is suing the ABC and the Sydney Morning Herald for defamation after an investigation was published in 2018 alleging he sexually harassed female performers during a 2014 production of The Rocky Horror Show. During the trial it has been revealed that 11 women have accused McLachlan of sexual harassment and indecent assault over his career. The media organisations are relying on the truth defence in the defamation trial. The first five women were involved on The Rocky Horror Show, while the others worked with McLachlan on other productions, including Neighbours and The Doctor Blake Mysteries. The women were fellow actors and technicians on set with McLachlan.

AICD Supports Positive Duty Under Sexual Discrimination Act 10 May

This week, Labor Leader Anthony Albanese announced that Labor would implement all recommendations from the Respect@Work Report if it won the election. The Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD) has supported Labor’s recommitment to the recommendations that prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.

Former Softball Australia Employee Says Allegations of Assault Were Ignored By The Sport

Former employee Sophie Moore says that Softball Australia ignored her allegation of sexual assault and harassment by a senior administrator. Ms Moore claims that the company failed to make a formal report when she came forward with her complaint. Softball Australia has since admitted that it failed to follow correct procedures in handling Ms Moore’s complaint. Ms Moore believes her incident is indicative of a “systemic failure” of Softball Australia to follow the Members Protection Policy (MPP).