A car dealer told a salesperson to “just show them your tits” when she expressed concerns about dealing with customers.
As a result, he lost his job, and his unfair dismissal claim.
The Fair Work Commission found the employer had the right to fire the salesman over the sexual harassment.
However, it also found the dealership failed to give procedural fairness, so therefore, ordered the business to pay the worker $7,500 compensation.
‘Just show them your tits’
Philip Parker worked as business manager at the Cricks Volkswagen dealership in Maroochydore in Queensland since January 2016.
The dealership sacked him nine months later following two incidents involving a newly appointed 21-year-old female salesperson.
Firstly, the woman alleged that Parker told her, “If you ever call me that business guy, or that finance guy, I will backhand you. I don’t care if you are a girl.”
Secondly, after the new salesperson expressed concerns to Parker about a customer making her feel uncomfortable with sexist and rude comments, he allegedly responded:
“Just show them your tits and you’ll be fine.”
What the Commission said
Parker denied making the comment, however, Commissioner Paula Spencer didn’t believe him, finding that the dealership had a valid reason for dismissal.
But she also found the dismissal process had been unfair because management didn’t give Parker “a fair and reasonable opportunity to respond to the allegations”.
Commissioner Spencer ruled reinstatement inappropriate, therefore she ordered Cricks Volkswagen to pay Parker three weeks’ wages totalling $7,459.
Parker appealed the decision, but was unsuccessful.
What the experts say
Industrial advocate Miles Heffernan from IR Claims says comments of a sexual nature are not appropriate in the workplace.
“Sexual harassment is unlawful,” he said.
“And this salesman engaged in textbook sexual harassment, and any worker who chooses to do that can expect to lose their job.”
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