15 July 2014
“Workplace” Clarified by Sexual Harassment Case
In a recent decision, the Federal Court held that the term “a workplace” is broad and may include a range of venues and locations, depending upon the surrounding circumstances and the conduct of workplace participants.
A recent decision of the Federal Court of Australia is a reminder to employees and employers of the need to keep professional and personal relationships separate. In Ewin v Vergara (No. 3)  FCA 1311, an employee was awarded $476,163 for sexual harassment by a fellow worker, making it one of the largest court-ordered sexual harassment awards.
The case also provides clarification on the meaning of “workplace” in the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth) (SD Act), giving the term a potentially broad definition.