Workplace Bullying Harassment Employment Lawyers

A recent decision of the Federal Court of Australia highlights yet another risk for employers.

This case involved a work situation typical in a lot of workplaces across Australia… an employee working alongside a sub contractor.

The key question for determination by the court in this case, was whether the subcontractor should be classified as a “fellow employee” within the meaning of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984.

The employer had a lot riding on the answer to that question.

If the answer proved to be “yes”, then the employer would be liable to compensate the employee just under $500,000.

The answer was “yes“.

You may also be wondering why the compensation was so high.

  • Loss of past earning capacity: $293,000
  • Loss of future earning capacity: $63,000
  • General Damages: $110,000

Lesson for Employers

Ensure your subcontractors are not only made aware of your discrimination and harassment policy, but that they comply with it.


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