Employer guilty of sexual harassment for misusing worker's photo

The poster reportedly led to the woman being treated differently in a male-dominated workplace

Employer guilty of sexual harassment for misusing worker's photo

A former employee of Sydney Water has won a sexual harassment and discrimination suit after a tribunal found her photo had been used inappropriately in a poster.

The NSW Anti-Discrimination Tribunal ruled Sydney Water Corporation and Vitality Works Australia were guilty of discriminating against the female worker when the agencies featured her photo in a campaign material with the words: “Feel great – lubricate”.

The message reportedly led to the woman being treated differently and sexually harassed by colleagues in a predominantly male workforce.

READ MORE: Sexual harassment in the workplace: What you need to know

The woman said she agreed to be photographed for a workplace health and safety campaign in 2015 but was shocked to find how the image had been used. The poster was reportedly placed outside the men’s washroom.

Sydney Water made amends by taking down the poster and apologising to the aggrieved employee. The woman eventually resigned and filed a lawsuit.

An engineer who claimed to be familiar with the type of employee culture that surrounded the woman testified that the poster “could be interpreted in a sexual way and could lead, in the worst case, to direct lewd comments, and more likely, to behind-the-back comments”.

The tribunal will determine the damages in an upcoming hearing.

Recent articles & video

Former DEI exec gets 5 years in prison for defrauding Facebook, Nike

Deel pioneers a new era in payroll

From full-time to casual: 'Struggling' employer converts worker's role without consent

Woolworths fined $1.2-million for underpaying long service leave of employees

Most Read Articles

Queensland resolves dispute on long service leave entitlements

'Confused' worker tries to clarify ‘unclear’ dismissal date

CFMEU, official get higher penalties after unlawful conduct appeal