Sexual Harassment Claim – $4.5m

Sexual Harassment Claim – $4.5m

We regularly speak of the need to ensure every workplace is discrimination free, including the appropriate steps a company must to take to ensure employees are aware of how serious it is and what type of behaviour is expected of them.

While it might seem repetitive, a recent $4.5m sexual harassment claim lodged by a former executive of JB Were will drive home the importance of taking these precautions. has filed a $4.5 million sexual harassment case claiming when she returned from maternity leave she was the victim of a “culture of harassment”.

The JB Were Queensland state manager said she was  the victim of a “culture of harassment”. She claimed she was performance managed out of the organisation after she returned from maternity leave, was given higher targets and lower bonuses than her colleagues and was subject to range of inappropriate comments in the workplace.

It is claimed on hearing the news of her pregnancy her boss responded by saying “in his experience a woman’s IQ halves when she falls pregnant” and  “yep, you are having a boy because your bum has blown out.” She also claimed her client base was reduced by the third when she returned to work.

Now of course, all these allegations need to be proved but having correctly documented policy and procedure’s places you in the best possible position. The absence of a documented anti-discrimination/harassment policy will make it very hard to argue or put up a credible defence.

Michael O'Shaughnessy

Michael is a specialist in all things HR. With vast HR experience in the USA and Australia, Michael brings a wealth of knowledge and advice to HR Central. When he's not blogging for HR Central you can find him out for dinner in one of Melbourne's newest restaurants.

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