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Tribunal says no to costs


Mr Watkins said he was refused employment as a bus driver because his weight was an occupational health and safety risk.  He said he fulfilled the requirements of the job, without incident, while employed by Serco and questioned the validity of the risk.  He said he was discriminated against because of a presumed disability.

The complaint did not proceed to full hearing because Mr Watkins did not attend the hearing and said he was ill.  The complaint was subsequently discontinued.  Southlink sought costs against both Mr Watkins and the Commissioner.

The Tribunal said that costs can only be awarded against a person who complains of discrimination if the proceedings were frivolous or vexatious, and that Mr Watkins' complaint was not frivolous or vexatious.

The Tribunal also said that it was unlikely that Parliament intended the Commissioner to be open to a costs order.

To read the Equal Opportunity Tribunal decision, use the link below.

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