Sexual harassment

Have you been sexually harassed at work? Maurice Blackburn can help you claim compensation for lost income, hurt, distress, pain and suffering. Unlike workplace bullying and harassment, workplace sexual harassment does not need to be repeated, it can be a one-off incident. If you have been subjected to sexual harassment in the workplace we can help.

Are you being sexually harassed at work?

Sexual harassment and victimisation is against the law. If you need legal advice or assistance with a sexual harassment claim, we can help. Contact us today to talk about how we can assist you.

What is sexual harassment?

A person is sexually harassed if he or she is subjected to unwelcome sexual conduct by a person in circumstances that a reasonable person would anticipate could possibly offend, humiliate or intimidate that person. Sexual harassment at work is against the law and employers can be held liable for the harassment of an employee by an employer, manager or supervisor or another employee, unless the employer can show that they took all reasonable steps to prevent the sexual harassment from occurring.

The law takes a strong stance against victimisation

Victimisation is also unlawful. We often speak to clients who are too afraid to come forward with their complaint because they fear they will be treated differently at work. However, the law takes a strong stance against victimisation. Victimisation occurs when a person is subjected or threatened with a detriment, because they make a complaint about sexual harassment or a complaint about something that would constitute sexual harassment. An employer can also be held liable for victimisation of an employee by another employee.

Court decision sets new standard for compensation

In a number of recent decisions, Courts and Tribunals have found that community standards demand that higher amounts of compensation should be awarded to victims of sexual harassment.

Most recently, in the landmark decision Richardson v Oracle Corporation Australia Pty Ltd [2014] FCAFC 82 the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia ordered an employer to pay $100,000 for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life to an employee who was sexually harassed at work.

Our record of success

Maurice Blackburn is Australia's leading employment law practice for employees and executives. Our specialist employment lawyers will fight for the compensation you deserve, while protecting your current and future earnings and professional reputation. Our specialist team have an established record in employment law and have successfully acted for many clients in cases of sexual harassment, including:

  • Confidentially resolved the cases of two female air traffic controllers in Federal Court proceedings who alleged prolonged sex discrimination and severe workplace bullying at Airservices Australia.
  • Successfully settled a claim and negotiated significant compensation for an employee of a transport company who had been subject to unlawful sexual harassment and victimisation.  
  • Resolved a complaint and negotiated a six figure settlement for a police officer who alleged sexual harassment.
  • Successfully negotiated a settlement equal to six months wages, for a client who worked for a construction company where there was a culture of systemic sexual harassment including by senior management.
  • Negotiated a settlement for an executive for one of the world’s largest consultancy firms who alleged sexual harassment at work.

While most of our clients’ cases are resolved promptly and discreetly via negotiation, we also have an excellent record of successful dispute resolution of employment matters. Our highly experienced employment lawyers are recognised for excellence in Doyle’s ‘Guide to the Australian Legal Profession’.

Successful cases

Court decision sets new standard for compensation

In a number of recent decisions, Courts and Tribunals have found that community standards demand that higher amounts of compensation should be awarded to victims of sexual harassment.


Most recently, in the landmark decision Richardson v Oracle Corporation Australia Pty Ltd [2014] FCAFC 82 the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia ordered an employer to pay $100,000 for pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life to an employee who was sexually harassed at work.

In another recent decision, a woman who was sexually harassed by her boss obtained over $300,000 in compensation including an award of aggravated damages; see Collins v Smith (Human Rights) [2015] VCAT 1992.

Our fees

Your initial consultation with our Executive Employment Lawyers is on a fixed fee. If your case proceeds we operate on an hourly rate.

About our employment law fees

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