Well, it has to be said: in all Folklaw's time digging up funny or quirky stories from the depths of the world's legal shenanigan files, it has never seen one quite like this ...An obviously
Well, it has to be said: in all Folklaw's time digging up funny or quirky stories from the depths of the world's legal shenanigan files, it has never seen one quite like this ...
An obviously clumsy public servant is making an injury compensation claim against her government employer because she was injured whilst engaged in a "sex act" while working out of town.
Believed to be a world first (now there's a surprise!), the claim has been heard in the Federal Court in Queensland.
Naturally, the employer has argued they could not possibly be held responsible for injuries obtained during obviously perilous nookie in out-of-town motels.
"In general, you would be covered if you were in another town at the employer's direction, but I doubt if a court in Queensland would regard an employer responsible for your sexual behaviour," said Brisbane-based compensation lawyer Mark O'Connor.
However, O'Connor added that an employer is responsible for ensuring that staff members working out of town are accommodated in proper, safe accommodation.
"If the boss puts you up in some dodgy place where you are injured, then they could be held liable," he said.
Hang on a minute. Does that mean the boss is responsible for ensuring that the bed in your motel won't collapse if it is used for something other than sleeping (Folklaw is merely speculating that the said "act" took place amongst the linen)? Surely not!
O'Connor said the oh-so-classy sex injury compo claim brings into focus the issue of where an employer's responsibility for staff ends.
"If an employer sends a staff member out of town for work, then the employer's responsibility does not just end at the end of the business day. The employer has a responsibility to ensure the employee is accommodated somewhere safe," he said.
"However, I think it's a stretch to suggest the employer should somehow be responsible for injuries a staff member sustains during a night-time sex session. I think the courts would in general find it difficult to accept the injury was caused during the course of the employee's work."
Well, thank goodness for that!
Folklaw waits with baited breath to see if this tale of woe has a happy ending ...