Richardson v Oracle Corporation Australia Pty Ltd [2014] FCAFC 82 is of interest. It is an appeal decision following a decision pursuant to s 46PO(4)(d) of the Australian Human Rights Commission Act 1986(Cth) for sexual harassment at work. For similar matters (Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld) s.209 (1)(b)) or those matters where common law general damages are available, it may be of interest. In this instance, Justice Kenny with whom Besanko and Perram JJ agreed and increased general damages from $18,000 to $100,000. As part of the rationale the decisions in Amaca Pty Ltd v King [2011] VSCA 447; Willett v Victoria [2013] VSCA 76 and Swan v Monash Law Book Co-operative [2013] VSC 326 were referred to as being indicative of changing community expectations in relation to general damages.

Otherwise, there is a useful discussion in terms of the investigation undertaken by the employer about the sexual harassment complaint and its causation or lack thereof in respect of further psychological injury.

 

David Cormack – Brisbane Barrister & Mediator

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