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Kossiedowski v Parvinder & Anor

Tribunal Decision - 9 September 2013

Ms Kossiedowski was employed as an assistant in a small supermarket. She claimed that over a short period of time, she was sexually harassed by her employer, who asked her sexually explicit questions, patted her backside and deliberately brushed against her breasts.

She made a complaint to the Equal Opportunity Commission which did not resolve, and so the matter was referred to the Equal Opportunity Tribunal.

At the hearing, the Tribunal accepted Ms Kossiedowski’s account of the incidents, and rejected Mr Parvinder’s account. It held that there were three separate episodes of sexual harassment and awarded damages of $2,400 for lost wages and $1,000 for injury to feeling.

At the conclusion of her judgement, Her Honour Judge Cole issued a warning directly to Mr Parvinder that the conduct he engaged in was very concerning, and that ordinarily a higher award of damages would have been ordered in that regard. Judge Cole noted, however, that Mr Parvinder’s financial position was taken into account when awarding a lower amount of damages.