Lack of training enabled ongoing sexual harassment, says employee

by L&D22 Jan 2016
An employee claims that a lack of policies and training in relation to sexual harassment, discrimination, OH&S, and bullying has enabled inappropriate behaviour towards her to continue, according to her lawyers.
 
Her boss at the Melbourne law firm allegedly sent the woman lewd photos and inappropriate text messages over seven months in 2015.
 
The text messages allegedly said: “I want your body. And I want you to say that you want to f--- me.”
 
“Do you want to f--- me? I want to f--- you madly. We need to make this happen.”
 
The woman’s lawyers are taking the complaints to the Human Rights Commission and arguing that when she ignored his text messages the behaviour became even worse.
 
Consequently, her lawyers claim she was diagnosed with stress and anxiety-related medical conditions, and has not gone back to work.
 
The woman is seeking damages, lost earnings and medical expenses, and is being represented by Maurice Blackburn.
 
Additionally, she wants equal employment opportunity policies and training at the firm, as well as a detailed complaints handling procedure.
 
“In addition to telling her boss directly that his behaviour made her feel uncomfortable, complaints about his conduct to the firm’s practice manager and other principal lawyers were fobbed off,” Maurice Blackburn was quoted as saying by The Guardian Australia.
 
Maurice Blackburn principal Josh Bornstein who is representing the woman said it is also “extremely disappointing” that the complaints she made were not taken seriously or immediately acted upon.  
 
A spokesperson for the firm said the woman’s claims were “categorically denied”.
 

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