In the case of Alexander v Cappello & Anor [2013] FCCA 860, a female employee claimed that she was sexually harassed by a male employee, and she was subsequently dismissed after reporting the harassment to the person she understood to be her employer.

The Federal Circuit Court of Australia had to determine whether or not:

  • the female employee was sexually harassed;
  • the female employee’s subsequent dismissal constituted victimisation by the alleged employer; and
  • the alleged employer was vicariously liable for the conduct of the male employee.

The Court preferred the female employee’s evidence over that of the male employee and found that:

  • the male employee had engaged in serious sexual harassment of the female employee in the course of her employment;
  • the female employee’s dismissal constituted victimisation; and
  • the alleged employer’s involvement was sufficient so that he was viariously liable for the alleged conduct; and
  • the female employee should receive substantial compensation for the harassment and subsequent victimisation.

The Court ordered that:

  • the male employee and the alleged employer were jointly and severally liable to pay damages in the sum of $24,300 for the unlawful sexual harassment; and
  • the alleged employer pay damages in the sum of $75,000 for the victimisation of the female employee.

To find out how Armstrong Lawyers may assist you in relation to your employment or Sexual Harassment matter, feel free to browse our Employment Matters page.