Reg's Case - Harassment Claim
At 63, Reg was the oldest bus driver working out of a suburban depot, and for over a year he was subject to harassment and bullying by his fellow employees. This conduct included comments suggesting he was gay, rude gestures and inappropriate touching.
Reg did not take kindly to any of this. There was no suggestion that he was actually gay, and he was the proud father of three with several grandchildren.
He reported the incidents to his supervisor who made no effort to look into the matter and told Reg "to be a man and deal with it".
A doctor diagnosed anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Reg took some stress leave and lodged a Worker’s Compensation claim.
The harassment got worse. Reg was ostracized by other employees for referring the matter to his superiors and lodging the claim.
Undaunted, Reg took his complaint further: this time he went to the Anti Discrimination Board on the grounds that he had been sexually harassed and discriminated against based on his perceived homosexuality.
What we were able to do
We represented Reg at two stages.
The first was at an Anti Discrimination Board conciliation. Neither party could agree on an outcome because the employers were only willing to pay out Reg’s entitlements, (for Long Service and Accrued Leave), and refused to acknowledge that they had acted other than correctly, though they had failed to investigate Reg’s complaints and had not implemented protocols that would prevent incidents like this happening in future.
When the matter was referred to the Administrative Decisions Tribunal of NSW, we entered into correspondence with Reg's employers and were able to propose conditions of settlement acceptable to both sides so that the case was finalised without mediation or the need for intervention of the ADT.
Both parties acknowledged that the terms of the settlement were to remain confidential and that Reg would release his employer from all other possible claims.