Big W cleared of victimising complaining worker

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Big W cleared of victimising complaining worker

A Big W employee who complained to HR after witnessing a colleague being bullied by a store manager, was not victimised by management the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Tribunal has ruled.

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A Big W employee who complained to HR after witnessing a colleague being bullied by a store manager, was not victimised by management the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Tribunal has ruled.

While employed at the Mt Gravatt Big W store, the worker complained she was victimised by the store manager in January 2004.

The worker claimed she was victimised because she had made allegations to senior executives concerning the store manager’s treatment of another female worker. She alleged the manager had unfairly compared the female worker to other male managers and also had treated her unfairly when she was unwell.

A fellow worker disclosed to the manager that the worker had made a complaint about his conduct. He was disciplined by management for his behaviour, but it was admitted the company’s actions also arose because of performance concerns.

She submitted  that the manager then victimised her by ignoring her while she was working in the sales office, thereby making her job more difficult, and transferring her to a position of checkout operator, a position of lesser status and one in which she was likely to earn less.

Not proven

Member Elizabeth Wilson agreed the worker had been ignored, but ‘not to the extent that it made the complainant’s job more difficult’.

The Tribunal also accepted Big W’s evidence that it had transferred her to a junior position because of ‘budgetary reasons’ that had nothing to do with her complaint about the store manager.

The Tribunal also found that when the worker disagreed with a person’s view she would not listen to their explanation, citing the manager’s evidence that when he advised her he was not going to interfere with the decision to transfer her to checkouts she became ‘rude and disrespectful’ to him.

The worker’s claim was dismissed.

Wadsworth v Akers and Woolworths Ltd t/as Big W Discount Stores [2007] QADT 17 (9 July 2007)

Related

Bullying serious, but did not justify summary dismissal

Supervisor allegedly harassed – dismissal too harsh

 

 

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