Workplace banned from discussing bullying case

Tuesday 14 January 2020
Ursula McBride

The majority of Victorian workers who reasonably believe they have been bullied at work are eligible to apply to the Fair Work Commission seeking orders to stop the bullying. 

Types of workers eligible can include employees, contractors, labour hire employees, outworkers, apprentices, work experience students and volunteers.

National anti-bullying laws cover most workplaces, however there are some exceptions, including, sole traders or partnerships, some state and local government departments and some corporations without significant trading or financial activities.

Case study

In a recent case before the Fair Work Commission a worker sought a stop bullying order against a Director of his employer, claiming he had been subjected to various forms of bullying conduct.

These allegations were denied by the Director, but the evidence was compelling and the worker’s application was supported.

The Director made her own allegations of bullying against her employer, submitting medical evidence which demonstrated that she was not fit to participate in the substantive stop bullying proceedings.

In their ultimate findings the Commissioner found that the circumstances of the case gave rise to an apparent risk to the health and safety of all parties.

On that basis, the Commissioner issued an interim order prohibiting the parties from yelling at each other or discussing the merits of the case in the workplace or elsewhere.  The parties were also ordered not to contact each other about work matters outside of the workplace, to “treat each other with respect and dignity” and not to belittle each other in communications.

If you or someone you know has been injured as a result of bullying in the workplace and can no longer work in an occupation they enjoy, we invite you to speak to one of our expert injury lawyers on (03) 9321 9988.

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