A Queensland tribunal recently found an employer was liable after it failed to properly investigate a sexual harassment claim brought by one of its employees. (McCauley v Club Resort Holdings Pty Ltd (No 2)  QCAT 243 (13 May 2013))
- Failing to obtain a full account of events from the attendant.
- Not putting the attendant’s account to the chef (the first time her version of events was put to him was at the hearing).
- Not advising the attendant that an investigator had been appointed.
- Not interviewing other witnesses said to be present when some of the derogatory comments were made.
The employer’s response to the complaint and its subsequent investigation were described as “inept and unprofessional”, and the employer was ordered to pay the attendant $35,490 by way of compensation.
- Ensure you have clearly communicated workplace policies that set out what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.
- Have a clearly communicated complaints process in place to deal with complaints about breaches of these policies.
- Consistently follow the complaints process.