Boss and his company fined for bullying and harassment.

A Melbourne company Director and his company have been convicted and fined a total of $116,250 for repeatedly bullying employees in the workplace.

The Court fined the Director $19,250 and his company a further $97,000 on Friday after a plea of guilty to a charge of failing to provide a working environment that was, as far as reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health.

The court heard:

  • The boss pushed an employee along a corridor in front of other workers;
  • He refused to allow an employee to leave the office until she assured him she would not resign following the first incident;
  • The boss led a culture of entrenched bullying at the company;
  • The boss spoke to employees in an aggressive and intimidating manner by raising his voice, swearing, and using sexist and racist language to describe his employees;
  • He also encouraged a culture of managers speaking aggressively to employees.

WorkSafe said, “Under no circumstances is it acceptable for managers or directors to abuse their position of power by acting aggressively or inappropriately towards employees. Bullying can have long term health effects on workers that are every bit as serious as those sustained from physical injuries and WorkSafe will not tolerate behaviour of this nature.”

To prevent bullying in the workplace ensure you:

  • Have a workplace policy and procedures for bullying.
  • Communicate and promote workplace bullying policies.
  • Regularly train employees on workplace bullying and inappropriate behaviour.
  • Encourage the reporting of workplace bullying.
  • Address reports of workplace bullying as early as possible.

epar has developed a Bullying, Harassment and Discrimination Procedure template. If you would like this template, simply email [email protected] and I will send this document to you.