FMG agrees to submit requested docs on alleged sexual harassment cases

Employee names to be redacted in response to WorkSafe

FMG agrees to submit requested docs on alleged sexual harassment cases

Fortescue Metals Group (FMG) has conceded to WorkSafe's request to submit over 30 documents related to alleged sexual harassment cases at the company's mining sites.

But it comes with one condition: the documents will have the names of its employees "redacted to protect their identities."

The statement came after WorkSafe commenced prosecution action against the mining giant for its failure to submit documents relating to 34 cases of alleged sexual harassment cases at three of the company's mining operations.

WorkSafe inspectors have the right to request documentation related to alleged sexual harassment cases within a specified period unless there is reasonable excuse, according to the Work Health and Safety Act 2020, as cited by Western Australia's Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

But FMG defended its refusal saying it is "cautious when asked to release private and personal records."

"We will not be pushed into breaking the law or releasing the private information of our team mates without their knowledge and consent," a spokesperson previously said as quoted by ABC News.

In December, the government released new guidelines on the use of confidentiality clauses in settling workplace sexual harassment cases.

‘Fiercely protective’

In a statement this week, however, FMG said it "considered the WorkSafe prosecution" last week, and it had resolved to co-operate after meeting the WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety.

"We will continue to work and collaborate with WorkSafe, as we always have, to ensure our people always feel safe to speak up," the statement said as quoted by the Australian Associated Press.

In refusing to disclose the names of employees involved, the company reiterated that it remains "fiercely protective" of its staff and their private information.

WorkSafe told ABC News that Commissioner Darren Kavanagh had not been informed of FMG's decision, but he will evaluate it when the information arrives.

Sexual harassment and assaults have rocked Australia's mining industry as of late, prompting various actions from the Western Australian government.

WA Premier Mark McGowan last year called on employers to "step up" to ensure their workers remain protected. The state government also appointed a PwC workplace culture expert to review the protocols of the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety in dealing with sexual harassment and assault in the mining industry.

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