Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Sexual Harassment in the Workplace
Sexual harassment laws Australia
Sexual harassment and victimisation is against the law and the numbers of employees reporting sexual harassment in the workplace is on the rise. Unlike workplace bullying, sexual harassment does not need to be repeated.
If you have been sexually harassed at work, you are entitled to make a complaint in either the state or federal jurisdiction and seek compensation.
Sexual harassment definition
The definition of sexual harassment in the workplace is any unwelcome sexual advances, unwelcome requests for sexual favours or other unwelcome conduct of a sexual nature.
If you believe that you have been sexually harassed in the workplace, our lawyers can help. In Australia, you must make a complaint within 6 or 12 months (depending on the jurisdiction). Our lawyers are attentive to the sensitive nature of the complaint and can guide you through the process.
Sexual harassment is an unwelcome sexual advance, request for sexual favours or other conduct of a sexual nature that makes a person feel offended, humiliated and/or intimidated, where a reasonable person would anticipate that reaction in the circumstances.
Examples of sexually harassing behaviour include:
- Unwelcome touching;
- Staring or leering;
- Suggestive comments or jokes;
- Sexually explicit pictures or posters;
- Unwanted invitations to go out on dates;
- Requests for sex;
- Intrusive questions about a person’s private life or body;
- Unnecessary familiarity, such as deliberately brushing up against a person;
- Insults or taunts based on sex;
- Sexually explicit physical contact; and
- Sexually explicit emails, text messages or social media contact.
If you have been sexually assaulted you should immediately contact the police and see your consulting doctor.
If you have been sexually harassed at work you should make it clear to the perpetrator, and your employer that the conduct you have experienced is not welcome and make an internal complaint.
If an internal complaint does not resolve your concerns, you can make a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission.
If the sexual harassment has caused you a psychological injury, you can consider making a claim for workers compensation.
You will receive a quote within 24 hours of submitting your enquiry, and you can partner with your lawyer to commence resolving your matter as early as the next working day if you choose. You should lodge your external complaint with the AHRC as soon as possible - the sooner the better to reduce your loss.
The AHRC will then set a time-line for your matter to be conciliated.
Our expert workplace lawyers are able to provide legal services at around 1/3 the cost of what you might expect to pay an equally experienced employment lawyer in traditional practice. This is because we have eradicated the billable hour, we provide value based fixed fee quotes and we have cut out the fat associated with traditional legal practice (fancy office spaces etc).
You will receive a free, fixed fee quote within 24 hours of submitting your enquiry. At Resolution123 we aim to put employment law advice within cost reach of every employee, without compromising on quality.
Your lawyer will advise you on the likely remedy range available to you based on the particular factors relevant to your claim including the harassment you experienced, any psychological injury and your economic loss.
The best way to manage the risk of your employer disparaging you is through a non-disparagement agreement. This is standard in the Fair Work Commission terms of settlement and means that your employer cannot say or do anything that could cause harm to you and your reputation.
If you commence an application and it is conciliated, the conciliation is confidential and if your work claim can be resolved at this stage, the terms of settlement are also confidential. Terms of settlement often include: an agreement to refer to the dismissal as a resignation; an obligation on your employer to provide a statement of service; to keep all matters relating to the application and settlement confidential; and not to disparage you in any way.
Some forms of sexual harassment may be a criminal offence. If you have been sexually assaulted, you should contact the police. If you are unsure, you can speak to one of our solicitors on a confidential basis to best determine your next steps.
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From Our Blog
Sexually harassed at work what can I do?
The Liberal party were recently rocked by allegations of sexual assault. The party has responded by announcing a national code of conduct be put in place over claims of poor cultural issues plaguing the party. So how widespread is the problem of sexual harassment at work and what can you do when you are sexually harassed at work? Carly appeared on Sky News to discuss these questions and more.