Record $500k payout awarded to victim of workplace sexual harassment

Frustrated Caucasian Woman [Image courtesy of stockimages at]

The Federal Court of Australia yesterday handed down a record $500k award in compensation to a former accountant who was repeatedly subjected to sexual harassment by a fellow colleague over a five year period.

The ongoing harassment included vulgar suggestions of sexual relations between the married man and the victim. Despite the victim’s attempts to inform her employer, the man remained working in the same team. The sexual harassment culminated at a work function after which the pair had sex without consent. It was alleged by the victim that her drink was spiked; however, the Judge did not find any evidence to suggest this to be the case.

The man was ordered to pay $200,000.00 to the victim, and her former employer ordered to pay the remaining $300,000.00.

The victim, who went to the police on more than one occasion to report the incident, is now calling for an independent inquiry into Victoria Police’s handling of the matter after she was knocked back and essentially told to ‘get on with [her] life’.

The victim was pleased with the outcome of her case and stated that the award in her favour was vindication for her relentless pursuit of justice.

If you or someone you know is experiencing sexual harassment or conduct within the workplace that makes you feel uncomfortable, call Rowan Skinner & Associates Lawyers today for a confidential discussion as to how we may be able to assist you.


Vergara v Ewin [2014] FCAFC 100 (12 August 2014)

Ewin v Vergara (No 3) [2013] FCA 1311

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Rowan Skinner

About Rowan Skinner

Rowan Skinner is a highly skilled family lawyer with over 35 years of experience across various legal roles and jurisdictions. Rowan specialises in resolving family law disputes such as divorce, financial settlements, child custody and domestic violence cases. Through his diverse and extensive experience, Rowan has a deep understanding of the complexities and nuances involved in family law. Rowan is a skilled negotiator and litigator who follows a compassionate and client-focused approach which prioritises helping you navigate what can be an emotional and challenging time.