A question often asked in our bullying and harassment prevention programs is “what constitutes a workplace in sexual harassment cases?”. The Sex Discrimination Act states a “workplace” is “a place at which a workplace participant works or otherwise carries out functions in connection with being a workplace participant”.
This week the Full Federal Court upheld a decision that a worker sexually harassed his manager not only at the workplace but also at a hotel across the road. In the earlier decision, Judge Bromberg ruled that the hotel, the street outside the hotel, and the corridor outside the office “had a sufficient workplace nexus and satisfied the statutory definition of workplace”.
In this case, the Manager had followed the worker across the road to the hotel in order to deal with his unwanted advances. To read the case in full see Vergara v Ewin (2014)