A former employee who falsely accused fashion designer Alex Perry of making sexist comments has lost his unfair dismissal claim.
Perry sacked the worker for swearing and also for using threatening language towards other staff.
The Fair Work Commission subsequently found the man had falsely accused his boss of making sexist comments.
Deputy president Peter Sams rejected the worker’s evidence about Perry, describing it as “untruthful”.
Mr Sams also criticised the Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union, which represented the worker, for “defending the indefensible”.
“In the face of such overwhelming cogent and corroborative evidence, it is somewhat surprising to me that the union which… comprises 98 percent women members, working in poor sweatshop conditions, would have represented a person who has, at best, little respect for women.”
Former employee falsely accuses Alex Perry
Alex Perry employed Sirajul Bashir in 2013 as a Custom Made Pattern Maker/Sample Machinist.
Celebrities including Jennifer Lopez, Miranda Kerr, Kim Kardashian, and also Sandra Bullock have reportedly worn Perry’s high-end designs.
Perry sacked Bashir in September 2018 for serious misconduct as a result of him threatening and behaving aggressively towards other staff.
He allegedly yelled at a 65 year-old female colleague who commented on his workmanship, saying “I’ll f–k you up the arse”.
He allegedly used his finger to jab at another worker, shouting, “These are perfect”, “I am the best machinist here. Who are you?” while hitting the samples rack.
He also allegedly threatened to “f–king slap” a female co-worker.
What the Commission heard
Perry told the Commission Bashir had behaved aggressively and threatened female co-workers on more than one occasion.
The designer also claimed the machinist had said to him “sometimes women just need a slap”.
Seeking reinstatement and compensation, Bashir denied the allegations, and instead, accused Perry of making the threatening and inappropriate comments.
He claimed that “swearing and banter was commonplace in the office”.
Furthermore, he claimed Perry called a colleague a “bitch”.
Perry strenuously denied the claims.
Deputy president Sams rejected the machinist’s evidence as untrue, saying it lacked credibility.
“I accept Mr Perry’s evidence and reject the applicant’s evidence as untruthful.”
Mr Sams subsequently ruled Bashir’s dismissal had not been unfair, harsh, unjust or unreasonable.
Union tried ‘creating a silk purse out of a sow’s ear’
However, Mr Sams saved his harshest criticism for the CFMMEU, which represented Bashir.
He said the union “struggled to defend the indefensible” and had tried to “build a case akin to creating a silk purse out of a sow’s ear”.
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