Mediation has not resolved what has been described as a "shocking" case of workplace discrimination and bullying of two Airservices Australia employees.
In July this year, Maurice Blackburn launched a multi-million dollar lawsuit on behalf of former Airservices employees Jacki McDonald and Kirsty Fletcher. The women claim they had suffered years of bullying, abuse and discrimination within the government-owned air traffic control management corporation, to the point where they are no longer able to work.
While a "marathon" Federal Court mediation was held in Melbourne last week between the parties, no agreement could be reached and the case is now scheduled go to trial some time next year.
Maurice Blakcburn principal Josh Bornstein told Lawyers Weekly in July that the nature of the case shocked him and his colleagues, especially in relation to the systemic nature of the alleged behaviour.
"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."
Included in 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, were exposed to pornography distributed by management and disciplined when they failed to cope with the alleged conduct.