$476,163 awarded in s-x harassment case
An accountant has been awarded $476,163 after the Federal Court determined she had been sexually harassed and assaulted by a contractor.
The case against the contractor was heard in December 2012 and the judgement handed down last week.
On the balance of probabilities, the court found the accountant had been subjected to sexual harassment and assault in May 2009, and the contractor had breached s 28B of the Commonwealth Sex Discrimination Act 1984.
The court determined the contractor had behaved in a sexually suggestive manner toward the accountant at work, touched her inappropriately while she was at her desk, pressured her to attend a pub with him for a drink, proposed she have an affair with him, sexually propositioned her, tried to kiss her, had sexual intercourse with her and sexually assaulted her.
The court described the contractor as “an arrogant individual with little or no regard for the truth”.
The accountant told the court she suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychiatric illness and is unable to work as a result of the incidents.
The court ordered the contractor to pay the accountant $476,163 plus interest. However, to avoid “double recovery”, any lump sum settlements the accountant had reached with her employer, the contractor’s recruitment and labour hire firm or others had to be deducted from this amount.
The accountant also made a formal complaint to police in June 2009, alleging she had been raped on 15 May 2009.
For more details, visit the court case.
Published on 19 December 2013 in NSCA Safe-T-Bulletin.