A major employer has been found liable for a worker's psychological disorder, with a commissioner stressing that the tone and demeanour of managers will always be relevant when determining whether their actions were reasonable.
A tribunal bench has confirmed that Sydney Water and its workplace health service provider discriminated against a worker by displaying her photo on a safety campaign poster with a s-xual double entendre.
In a case examining the discretionary powers of a relatively new anti-bullying jurisdiction, an employer has failed to block a worker's stop-bullying claim by contending he was medically incapable of returning to work under his supervisor, the alleged bully.
A company has been ordered to pay more than $5.2 million in compensation, damages and penalties - aimed at deterring unlawful actions by CEOs - for sacking a senior employee for making bullying complaints.
Not intervening when a co-worker is being bullied causes the non-intervener psychological distress and can lead to mental ill health, according to European researchers, who urge employers to encourage active "helping behaviour".
The Fair Work Commission has denied anti-bullying orders to a worker claiming her supervisor unfairly assessed her performance and denied her work, causing her psych injury. The FWC found the worker "pushed back and resisted complying" with the supervisor's reasonable requests.
A tribunal has upheld a worker's bid to obtain her supervisors' disciplinary records and details of any complaints made against them, to show if they had a "propensity" to bully subordinates to support her psychological injury claim.
Australia's first WHS Code of Practice for managing psychological risks, released for comment in NSW, advises duty holders to apply the hierarchy of controls and eliminate the risks by redesigning work processes.