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Dento legal cases on sexual harassment


These are real life examples and contain language and content which may offend. These sexual harassment case summaries are grouped into two categories: Court and tribunal decisions are made after all the evidence is heard, including details of loss and damage.

The full text of court and tribunal decisions is available from the:. Dento legal cases on sexual harassment outcomes are where the parties have reached an agreement through conciliation at the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland. A cleaner at a school was sexually harassed when two of his co-workers, one male and one female, set up a staff room to appear as though two staff members had used the room for a sex romp. The prank was directed at the cleaner, and the room was set up with empty alcohol bottles, clothes, and a condom containing fluid.

The male co-worker invited the cleaner to sniff boxer shorts left in the room. The cleaner was distressed by the scene, including that he thought he was cleaning up bodily fluids. He was also upset and concerned that two named staff members were having an affair and had used the school premises to get together.

He was preoccupied with the sex romp to the point that he intended to speak to one of the staff members who he thought was involved. At that time the male co-worker involved in the prank told the cleaner that it had all been a prank. On hearing this, the cleaner fell to his knees. It was undisputed "Dento legal cases on sexual harassment" the setting up of the room was conduct of a sexual nature. The tribunal found that because the prank was directed at the cleaner, the conduct was in relation to him.

The tribunal found it was also sexual harassment of the cleaner when the male co-worker invited him to sniff the boxer shorts, and when that co-worker informed staff in a nearby shop of the prank.

The tribunal found the cleaner had been victimised after complaining of sexual harassment. The male co-worker had pretended to photograph or video the cleaner when he was at the school, and had gestured with his middle finger to the cleaner's wife and children at the school.

The cleaner suffered an acute anxiety state because of the prank, and within a month he was unable to work. He suffered an adjustment disorder with anxiety and depression, and his psychological condition developed into post-traumatic stress disorder. His condition caused problems sleeping and concentrating, fatigue, rapid heart rate, trembling, obsessive thinking, eating and stomach problems, compulsive behaviours, bouts of crying, depressed mood, and feelings of hopelessness and anxiety.

He was unable to work for two years, and was then only able to return to part-time work. The tribunal considered he would be unable to return to full-time work for Dento legal cases on sexual harassment further two years.

One reason why legal remedies...

The tribunal stressed the importance of consistency in awards, particularly as required under the QCAT Act. The tribunal also examined the six cases where Richardson has been cited in other Australian jurisdictions.

That examination shows that although there have been some increases in the level of awards, those increases have not been nearly as dramatic as in Richardson itself. The tribunal concluded that where there is a recognisable personal injury, the tribunal should continue the approach of consistency with Queensland court awards in personal injury cases.

However, where there is no recognisable personal injury and therefore no comparable Queensland awards, the tribunal can be influenced by Richardson to increase its level of awards, if it is appropriate to Dento legal cases on sexual harassment so. When considering previous awards, those awards should be adjusted for inflation. Advocates would assist the tribunal in adjusting previous awards for inflation when citing them. The tribunal also determined that interest on non-financial loss should be awarded unless there is a proper reason for not doing so, though not at a commercial rate.

A young woman was sexually harassed when she woke to find an older man naked in her bedroom. He touched her upper thigh and groin, and tried to remover her underpants. She told him to leave and broke down crying. The woman's employer had arranged for her to share the work-provided accommodation with the man. They each had their own room, and the woman had moved in the night before the sexual harassment.


The woman was unable to take up her new job as planned, and she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and depressive symptoms. She was unable to work from the incident which happened on 1 December until March The tribunal found that the Dento legal cases on sexual harassment injury to the woman caused by the sexual assault on her was severe and prolonged.

Issues the tribunal considered and decided included whether the sexual harassment occurred in the course of the man's employment, the credibility of the woman and the extent to which the sexual harassment caused her injuries, and how damages should be assessed.

A female traffic control worker, who was sexually harassed by a male co-worker, made a complaint against the worker as well the private company that employed them and the company that contracted the employer. During the pre-trail proceedings, Dento legal cases on sexual harassment claims against both companies were settled. As a preliminary issue, the tribunal decided that the settlements with the companies released them from liability, but the release did not extend to the individual co-worker.

For five months the woman was subjected to personal comments, questions, noises, and gestures — all of a sexual nature — on a daily basis and throughout each shift. The woman tried to work the next day but couldn't cope, and she resigned that night. She experienced an emotional breakdown which became a Major Depressive Disorder.

Having found that numerous instances...

The tribunal found that the sexual harassment was a substantial cause of the woman's condition, the effects of which would continue over a period of three years, including an inability to work. The Dento legal cases on sexual harassment amounts paid by the two companies and any lump sum payment for permanent impairment by WorkCover would be deducted from the total award.

In the reasons for the decision, the tribunal discussed the coping mechanisms and decisions of women subjected to unwanted sexual comments in male-dominated workplaces. While the ideal course would be for the woman to make it clear that the comments are unwanted, and then if they continue, to complain to management, the tribunal recognised that this is not "Dento legal cases on sexual harassment" practical, especially if the employer is unlikely to be supportive, and if making unsubstantiated allegations is regarded as a disciplinary matter.

In this case, the woman's way of dealing with it was to go along with the banter to some extent, and hide her true feelings in the belief she could cope with the harassment.