Earlier this month, the Federal Court awarded $476,163 plus interest to a women who was found to be the victim of sexual harassment (verbal and physical).
The decision serves as a timely reminder:
- sexual harassment is against the law
- employers arranging social events where alcohol is being served need to be careful
- employers can be liable for the actions of their employees
- complaints of sexual harassment should be appropriately investigated and dealt with
- just because police become involved, an employer is not absolved from their duty to investigate complaints.
The judgment is subject to the court making a determination about double recovery. To do this, the Court requires the victim to file and serve an affidavit detailing the terms of any settlement reached with:
- her employer
- the labour hire firm which engaged the perpetrator
- any other person.