find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Competition, Policy & Regulatory
Category: Other | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Work with a well regarded Partner · Sydney CBD
View details
Commercial Litigation Senior Associate
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Lawyers Weekly Australia Partner of the Year 2016, Insolvency
View details
MULTIPLEX Regional Legal Counsel (Vic) | 7 to 10 years + PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Career defining in-house role · Tier One international contractor
View details
Junior Lawyer - Personal Injury Law
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Parramatta & Western Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Highly specialized practice · Challenging role with great opportunities
View details
IR Advisor/Member Advocate
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: St Leonards NSW 2065
· Permanent (0.8-1.0 FTE) role in a developing team
View details
"Shocking" workplace suit launched

"Shocking" workplace suit launched

Maurice Blackburn has today (28 July) launched multi-million dollar actions in the Federal Court and Human Rights Commission on behalf of two former Airservices Australia employees. Jacki…

Maurice Blackburn has today (28 July) launched multi-million dollar actions in the Federal Court and Human Rights Commission on behalf of two former Airservices Australia employees.

Jacki McDonald and Kirsty Fletcher claim they suffered years of bullying, abuse and discrimination within the government-owned air traffic control management corporation to the point they are no longer able to work.

Maurice Blakcburn principal Josh Bornstein told Lawyers Weekly the nature of the case shocked him and his colleagues, especially in relation to the systemic nature of the alleged behaviour.

"I've seen an enormous amount of material. There are strong grounds for alleging breaches of the Sex Discrimination Act, the Fair Work Act, the Workplace Relations Act and the Occupational Health and Safety Act, amongst other things," he said.

"It's quite upsetting when you hear what has occurred and its effect ... There were a lot of people involved and aware of what was going on, [yet] virtually no-one acted properly or appropriately and that's what amazes me."

Amongst the long list of claims is that the women were refused access to training and professional development, were abused and belittled for being pregnant, told part-time employment was not welcome, were the subject of false allegations, exposed to pornography distributed by management and disciplined when they failed to cope with the alleged conduct.

"One of my clients advised that she was unfit to work and went home, after which she collapsed and was hospitalised. The next day she was given a first and final warning," said Bornstein.

"Australia may have its first female Prime Minister but the attitudes and behaviour of managers at Airservices is light years away from what a workplace should be in the 21st century. This is a workplace that is deeply hostile to women, particularly pregnant women and mothers."

Maurice Blackburn is seeking damages to the tune of $1 million for each of the women for loss of earnings and loss of their chosen career path.

A spokesman from Airservices told Lawyers Weekly that the organisation is "aware of the issues raised" and that the matter is being "taken seriously" by management.

"Our investigations have only just been completed and the matter is in the hands of respective legal advisors. Airservices will respond to the claims made in due course given the matter is now before the courts," he said.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

"Shocking" workplace suit launched
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Human body, illegal organ trafficking, ALHR
Sep 22 2017
Australia poised to combat illegal organ harvesting: ALHR
The Australian Lawyers for Human Rights are calling for changes to the law so that organ trafficking...
Online service, barristers, BarristerSELECT, Stephen Foley
Sep 22 2017
New online service leverages barristers’ clerks to aid briefing
A new online tool has been launched to help NSW solicitors find the most suitable barristers for the...
NSW District Court judge, Tim Gartelmann SC, next appointment,
Sep 22 2017
Silk replaces outgoing NSW District Court judge
A barrister has been named as the next appointment to the NSW District Court, following the retireme...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...