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$1.3m verdict in sexual harassment case

The Victorian Supreme Court recently handed down a $1.3m award to a female worker who suffered severe psychiatric injuries as a result of bullying and sexual harassment in the workplace.

The worker, Ms Mathews, was subjected to almost daily sexual harassment (including, on one occasion, a threat of rape) and bullying over a two-year period. Her employer Winslow Constructors (Vic) Pty Ltd did little or nothing to prevent the conduct, despite her making complaints to two levels of supervisor.

The court accepted that Ms Mathews suffered significant psychological trauma as a result of her treatment and was unlikely to work again, leading to the award of damages in excess of $1,000,000.

This case is probably the best reminder you’ll get for some time that the healthiness of a work environment is of crucial importance both to employers and employees.

If you need guidance on workplace entitlements and obligations, please contact FWO’s employment solicitor Jay Clowes on (02) 6650 7016.

If you would like advice about workplace injuries or other compensation matters, please contact FWO’s personal injury solicitor Kari Hilton on (02) 6650 7013.

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