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Employee's 'compliment' was harassment and warranted discipline

An employee accused of inappropriate behaviour has failed to prove his proposed disciplinary action was "excessive" and motivated by "current PC opinions", with a commission finding he showed a "significant failure in judgment".

In June last year, the Department of Environment and Science substantiated allegations that a team leader had behaved inappropriately towards an employee during a Microsoft Teams call.

Specifically, it found he mentioned on at least three occasions that he had "noticed" the complainant in the lifts at work and described her as "smoking hot". He also said something along the lines of, "any warm blooded man would be crazy not to notice you".

After a show-cause process, the employer proposed penalties including: reducing the employee's remuneration level for 12 months; placing him on a two-year performance development plan, with reviews every three months; and requiring him to undergo code of conduct and appropriate workplace behaviour training...

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