Posted September 05, 2018 12:17:38 For more than a year, I have been trying to get answers from lawyers and human rights lawyers in Australia about how the Australian courts are handling the rise of harassment online.
This week, the Federal Court ruled that an employer can be fined $3,000 for using online harassment as a way to intimidate or threaten to intimidate an employee.
The ruling means an employer who targets an employee online may face a fine of $3.6 million.
In an interview with Polygon, lawyer and human right lawyer Gillian Dickson said she hopes the Federal Government will take the case.
“It will send a very strong signal to employers, that harassment is a very serious offence,” Ms Dickson told Polygon.
The Federal Court decision on online harassment has come in response to a complaint by a woman who worked as a public relations manager at a mining company.
“I was threatened online by a miner in the field,” the woman said.
“The threat was that I was going to be killed by them, and they’d be prosecuted and they would have to pay me back for my work.”
The complaint was made to the Federal Human Rights Commission, which is a branch of the Federal Parliament that investigates workplace discrimination and harassment complaints.
Ms Dison said the commission’s response was to issue a report in September.
“We are happy to have the report out,” she said.
Ms Dunlop is a human rights lawyer who is part of a team of lawyers working on the case for the Federal Courts.
“In this case, the woman actually made a complaint to the Human Rights Commissioner about this,” she told Polygons sister site the Australian Law Reform Society.
“What that woman did was make a complaint about the person who was harassing her.”
Ms DunLop said that person was a public representative who worked at the mining company and was part of the team who was responsible for responding to complaints about harassment online and to the court system.
“She actually did that and that person then took advantage of her, took advantage,” Ms DunNoll said.
The public representative is the person in the workplace who reports complaints about the workplace to the commission.
The Human Rights Act says that public representatives have the right to make complaints to the Australian Human Rights Tribunal, which reviews the complaint and decides whether or not the complaint should be considered.
The commission has to decide whether the complaint can be taken to the full Human Rights Court.
“As the public representative, it was her job to respond to complaints and that’s what she did,” Ms Duncan said.
A number of people contacted Polygon to say they had experienced harassment online in the past, but were reluctant to speak out because of the risk of repercussions.
“Some of my colleagues are still reluctant to come forward because they’re afraid of repercussions, but some have actually done so,” Ms Doulop said.
But it’s not just online harassment.
Ms Duncan noted that the Federal government has recently made changes to its workplace laws, which make it easier for employers to fire employees for engaging in “offensive or harassing behaviour”.
Ms Dunnoll said she believed that would be one of the most significant changes coming out of the Human Relations Commission’s report.
“This is a really important piece of legislation and it’s going to change a lot of things,” she explained.
The report will be published in October and will be followed by the Federal Labor government’s new workplace legislation, which will take effect in November.
“That’s when it will be the law of the land,” Ms Dumont said.
What is harassment?
Harassment is when someone engages in a behaviour that creates a hostile or offensive work environment.
“Harassment is not just a word that means harassment, but what it means is the behaviour of a person that is intimidating, hostile or intimidatory,” Ms Duffen said.
In a workplace, harassment can include unwanted behaviour that is directed at a person, including threats, sexual advances, unwelcome physical contact, and physical abuse.
“You don’t have to do anything to create a hostile work environment, so you don’t need to engage in behaviours like that,” Ms Dunnoll said, adding that it is important to remember that it does not have to be physical, but it can be emotional or emotional or sexual.
The harassment can be directed at an individual or a group, or can be aimed at a single individual or group.
“If you’re an employer, it’s important to understand that you’re a public authority, you’re the employer and you’re responsible for ensuring that you provide safe working conditions,” Ms Duggan said.
Harassment can also occur through an organisation’s communication.
“A lot of times it’s an organisation that’s trying to do a good job, and it gets its message across to the public that this is acceptable behaviour,” Ms Durkin said.
She added that in some cases, employees can be fired if they are found to have engaged