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Conciliation Register

Act Racial Discrimination Act
Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Descent
Race
Sex
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Apology

Other opportunity provided

Revised terms and conditions

Compensation

Amount $20,000
Year

The complainant is Aboriginal and undertook a graduate program with the respondent government department. She acted in higher duties for a period and applied for the role when it was advertised. The complainant was not invited to attend an interview and sought feedback from the head of the interview panel. She alleged he told her that discussing her Aboriginality in her application was a factor in the decision not to interview her and may hinder her prospects of progression. She also alleged that he said the woman who was interviewed wore ‘a nice skirt and heels’, which made her feel her appearance/grooming was being criticised. The complainant said she made an internal complaint about the alleged comments but was unhappy with the department’s response to the complaint. At the time of lodging the complaint, the complainant was on leave without pay and undertaking a Masters degree for which she had been awarded a scholarship.

On being advised of the complaint, the department indicated a willingness to participate in conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the department write to the complainant acknowledging and apologising for her negative experience, stating that the alleged conduct was unacceptable and assuring her that steps were being taken to prevent similar incidents in the future. The department also granted the complainant an additional year of leave without pay to allow her to complete her Masters degree and agreed to meet with her to discuss a safe and sustainable return to work. Finally, the department agreed to pay the complainant $20,000 in compensation for hurt and distress.

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Sex
Sexual harassment
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Anti-discrimination/EEO policy reviewed/revised

Anti-discrimination/EEO training reviewed/revised

Amount $5,000
Year

The complainant was employed at the respondent catering and events company. She alleged a male co-worker sexually harassed her at the work Christmas party, including by telling her he had been watching her ‘strut [her] stuff around the office’ and pinching her bottom three times. She said she made an internal complaint about the incident. She claimed the company originally discouraged her from pursuing the matter and then failed to support her during the complaint process. The complainant said she felt she had no option but to resign.

On being advised of the complaint, the company indicated a willingness to try to resolve the complaint by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the company pay the complainant $5,000 as general damages. The company also agreed to contract an Employee Assistance Program for use by its employees, to review and re-launch it sexual harassment policy and grievance procedures, and to conduct training on anti-discrimination and equal opportunity law with its management team.

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Sexual harassment
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Action taken against named individuals

Compensation

Anti-discrimination/EEO policy developed

Apology

Amount $8,000
Year

The complainant alleged a contractor working on the same construction site as her sexually harassed her, including by asking her to have sex with him on multiple occasions and making sexualised comments about her body. She said she eventually resigned from her employment because she did not wish to work alongside the contractor.

On being advised of the complaint, the contractor and his employer indicated a willingness to try to resolve the complaint by conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the contractor’s employer pay the complainant $8,000 and revise its sexual harassment policy. The contractor apologised to the complainant and his employer advised disciplinary action had been taken in relation to the alleged behaviour.

Act Age Discrimination Act
Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Age
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Revised terms and conditions

Anti-discrimination/EEO training introduced

Year

The complainant is 73 years of age and was employed in a senior management role by the respondent metallurgy business. She alleged the business manager discriminated against her because of her age and sex, including by commenting that she ‘couldn't work forever’, asking her to nominate a retirement date, referring to her as ‘back office staff’ rather than senior management, excluding her from senior management meetings, refusing to give her a pay rise and relocating her to a different building isolated from head office. 

The company claimed the complainant commented that she would ‘not be around’ in the future and that discussions about possible retirement were conducted as part of succession planning processes. The company said the complainant was relocated due to a business restructure and not because of her age or sex. The company said the complainant was included in meetings relevant to her work and was one of several staff who did not receive a pay rise that year.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the complainant’s team would be renamed to more accurately reflect the work it performed, location of meetings would alternate between the complainant’s workplace and head office and the company would deliver training on equal employment opportunity to all staff. It was also agreed the company would not initiate any retirement discussions with the complainant, she would meet with her business manager weekly to discuss communication and any other concerns and she would receive a pay-rise the following year, pending overall business performance.
 

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Family responsibilities
Pregnancy
Sex
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Amount $1,000
Year

The complainant claimed the respondent labour-hire company failed to respond to her emails and phone calls or to offer her work when she sought to return from maternity leave on a part-time basis to accommodate family responsibilities. 

The company said that during the complainant's period of maternity leave, it lost a major labour supply contract and so there were no roles to offer her when she sought to return to work.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the company pay the complainant $1,00 ex gratia. The complainant remained employed with the company.
 

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Pregnancy
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Anti-discrimination/EEO training provided

Compensation

Amount Approximately $1,720
Year

The complainant was employed at a food product factory. She alleged that during her pregnancy her manager called her ‘fat’ and said she would need a size 22 shirt when she asked for a size 14 shirt in front of other colleagues and told a colleague who touched her belly ‘don’t do that or she will yell at you’. The complainant also claimed she was required to perform physically demanding tasks without assistance when heavily pregnant. She said she felt she had no option but to resign her employment.

The company claimed the alleged comments were made in a friendly manner and there was no discrimination.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the company pay the complainant approximately $1,720 as an eligible termination payment and deliver training to factory staff on pregnancy discrimination.

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Family responsibilities
Sex
Victimisation
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Anti-discrimination/EEO policy developed

Policy change/Change in practice

Amount $15,000
Year

The complainant was employed as an accountant at the respondent mining company. She said she had a flexible working arrangement to work three days per week and finish each day at 5.00 pm so she could collect her daughter from childcare. She claimed that despite the flexible working arrangement, her manager verbally reprimanded her for leaving work at 5.00 pm and placed her under performance management. She also claimed that the company made her redundant after she made a complaint to this Commission.

The company claimed it held genuine concerns about the complainant’s performance unrelated to her family responsibilities or flexible work arrangement. The company claimed the process that resulted in the complainant’s redundancy began before the complainant made her complaint to the Commission and the complainant’s position was selected for redundancy by someone unaware of the complaint.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the company pay the complainant $15,000 as general damages, deliver anti-discrimination training to all staff and leadership training to all managers and implement a flexible work guideline incorporating the ability to work from home and access time in lieu.

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Sex
Sexual harassment
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Amount $20,000
Year

The complainant worked as a manager at the respondent hotel. She claimed a director of the hotel sexually harassed her, including by hugging and trying to kiss her, putting his hand under her breast, asking where she bought her sex toys and telling her she was ‘beautiful’ and should ‘use her assets’ to improve business. She also claimed that when she contributed to a business discussion at a work-related social function, the director told her to ‘keep her ideas to herself and allow the men to do the thinking’. 

The hotel and its director claimed the complainant had engaged in behaviour of a sexual nature towards others similar to the behaviour being complained about. The hotel also argued the Commission had no jurisdiction to inquire into alleged conduct at the function referred to in the complaint as it was held away from the workplace and outside working hours.

The complaint was resolved. The parties agreed to end the employment relationship and to resolve a related workers’ compensation claim. The hotel agreed to pay the complainant $20,000 ex gratia.
 

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Sex
Sexual harassment
Victimisation
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Apology

Compensation

Statement of service

Anti-discrimination/EEO training reviewed/revised

Named individual(s) to undertake anti-discrimination/EEO training

Amount Approximately $40,000
Year

The complainant is a teenager and alleged her manager sexually harassed her, including by asking her how much he would have to pay her to have sex with him, whether she masturbated and whether she had ever had an orgasm. She also alleged he offered to buy her a vibrator. She said she made a complaint to a senior manager, but he took no action and allowed the conduct to continue. She also alleged that when she made a complaint to HR her manager contacted her and tried to intimidate her so she would withdraw her complaint. The complainant said she had not returned to work because she felt unsafe.
 
The retailer argued the conduct was not sexual harassment because it was not unwelcome and claimed the complainant engaged in conduct of a sexual nature at work, including making comments of a sexual nature, rating the attractiveness of men, telling her manager her nipples were pierced and telling him she would have sex with him. The retailer claimed it investigated the complainant’s allegations, offered her a transfer to a different outlet and took disciplinary action against her manager. The retailer advised the senior manager to whom the complainant had made the complaint had since left the business for unrelated reasons. 

The complaint was resolved and the parties agreed to end the employment relationship. The retailer agreed to pay the complainant approximately $40,000 as general damages, provide her with a statement of service and deliver training on sexual harassment to its staff. The complainant’s former manager and senior manager agreed to write to the complainant apologising for any distress she experienced as a result of the events giving rise to the complaint.

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Sex
Areas Clubs/incorporated associations
Goods, services and facilities
Outcome details

Revised terms and conditions

Year

The complainant alleged the respondent golf club required him to remove his singlet and put on a shirt to enter the bar area but did not require women to do the same.

The club confirmed it had a policy of not allowing men to wear a singlet inside the club.

The complaint was resolved with an undertaking by the club to no longer require men not to wear singlets inside the club. The club also apologised to the complainant for his experience at the club.

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Pregnancy
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Amount Approximately $5,700
Year

The complainant was employed in a temporary administrative role with the respondent distribution centre while the company looked for someone to fill the role on a permanent fulltime basis. She alleged the company told her there was no further work available for her after becoming aware of her pregnancy, but employed another person on a temporary basis in her place.

The company claimed a person was found to fill the complainant’s role on a permanent fulltime basis. The company said it could not find the complainant alternative temporary work because it could not meet her salary expectations, so employed another temporary worker on a lower wage.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the company pay the complainant approximately $5,700, equivalent to five weeks’ wages.

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Sex
Sexual harassment
Victimisation
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Statement of regret

Compensation

EEO/harassment training

Amount $25,000
Year

The complainant was employed by the respondent telecommunications corporation. He alleged that, during the company’s Christmas party, his male supervisor took the complainant’s genitals in his hand and squeezed while smiling. The complainant alleged the company did not respond appropriately to his internal complaint about the incident because of his sex. He claimed the complaint process was slow, he was required to remain under his supervisor’s supervision and his supervisor was informed of the complaint. He claimed the company required his supervisor to apologise to him and that his supervisor used the phrase “grab your cock” several times during the conversation. The complainant said he felt he had no option but to leave his employment and alleged that the company gave him an adverse reference despite there being no performance issues during his employment, costing him a subsequent employment opportunity.

The company claimed the complainant’s concerns were responded to appropriately and argued it had taken all reasonable steps to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace, including having appropriate policies and procedures in place.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the company pay the complainant $25,000 as general damages and write to him acknowledging and expressing regret for the stress and discomfort he said he experienced as the result of the events giving rise to the complaint. The company also undertook to deliver training to managers, leaders and staff in his former team on a range of issues, including sexual harassment, sex discrimination and the company’s complaint process.

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Sexual harassment
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Apology

Compensation

Anti-discrimination/EEO policy developed

Policy change/Change in practice

Anti-discrimination/EEO training introduced

Amount $200
Year

The complainant was employed on a casual basis at the respondent sporting club. She alleged the head coach at the club sexually harassed her, including by brushing his hands over her legs, touching her neck, commenting that he could see her bra under her work t-shirt, asking intrusive questions about her private life and telling jokes of a sexual nature  in front of her. The complainant said she resigned her employment because of the alleged conduct.

On being advised of the complaint, the club and coach agreed to participate in a conciliation process to try to resolve the complaint.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the club pay the complainant $200 as compensation for lost income due to shifts not worked as a result of the resignation. The club also outlined policies, procedures and training implemented as a result of the complaint aimed at preventing sexual harassment and improving responses to allegations of sexual harassment. The coach acknowledged the complainant’s experience and said he had “learnt [his] lesson”. 
 

Act Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Sex
Sexual harassment
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation

Anti-discrimination/EEO training reviewed/revised

Amount $8,000
Year

The complainant worked for the respondent agricultural company. She alleged her manager sexually harassed her, including by obtaining her mobile number from the company records without proper authority, sending her sexually explicit text messages, and attempting to touch her breasts and bottom. The complainant resigned from her employment before lodging the complaint. 

On being advised of the complaint, the company and the complainant’s former manager agreed to participate in conciliation.

The complaint was resolved. The company advised that, in response to the complaint, in-depth sexual harassment training would be delivered to managers and human resources staff would be more prominent on-site. The company also agreed to pay the complainant $5,000 as general damages and her former manager agreed to pay her $3,000 as general damages. 

Act Disability Discrimination Act
Sex Discrimination Act
Grounds Disability
Pregnancy
Areas Employment
Outcome details

Compensation
Anti-discrimination/EEO policy reviewed/revised
Statement of service
Anti-discrimination/EEO training reviewed/revised 
 

Amount $3,000
Year

The complainant was pregnant and worked at the respondent training provider. She alleged the company initiated a formal performance management process because she was late to work on some occasions due to severe morning sickness. 

The complainant’s supervisor and the company denied the allegations but agreed to participate in conciliation.

The complaint was resolved with an agreement that the company pay the complainant $3,000 as general damages, waive debts due to accidental over payment and provide her with a statement of service. The company also agreed to review policies and training with respect to equal employment opportunity, incorporating feedback from the complainant. The parties agreed to end the employment relationship.