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Why WA employees must meet a ‘test’ to make a workplace sexual harassment claim

Liam Bartlett
Article image for Why WA employees must meet a ‘test’ to make a workplace sexual harassment claim

Lawyers and advocates are pushing to have “outdated” workplace sexual harassment laws changed to ensure employees are protected in the workplace.

In Western Australia any employee seeking to make a workplace sexual harassment claim must meet a “disadvantage test”.

Samantha Maddern, a partner at law firm Mills Oakley who specialises in workplace relations, told 6PR’s Liam Bartlett employees must meet specific criteria for a claim to be successful in WA.

“In Western Australia you have to establish either that you suffered a disadvantage as a result of sexual harassment, or you can prove that you have a reasonable believe that you didn’t succumb or give-in to the unwanted sexual advance that you would have suffered a disadvantage.”

Ms Maddern is now among lawyers calling for change.

“There is no reason for why we have such an outdated, archaic definition of sexual harassment here and nowhere else in Australia,” she said.

“It creates a deterrent for people to bring a claim, because it’s an additional element that they have to satisfy.

“Sexual harassment in any workplace is unacceptable.”

Click play to hear the full interview. 

(Photo: iStock by Getty Images.)

Liam Bartlett
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