A Sydney Trains worker has been sacked for posting a racist and sexist video on TikTok.
The video shows himself repeatedly swearing at his Asian workmate, calling her a “sl*t” and a “wh*re”.
The worker used the hashtag “#AsianWomen” on the post.
He uploaded the video just a day after Sydney Trains sent out a notice warning staff against posting offensive content on social media.
Sydney Trains worker sacked for posting racist and sexist video
The worker posted the video on TikTok and also to his Snapchat account on 7 April 2020.
It shows him wearing his uniform while on shift in the control room at a train station.
He can be heard repeatedly swearing in the video laughingly saying “he is about to piss off his Chinese workmate”.
He then enters another room and films his colleague, who is also in uniform, without her consent.
The worker says “f**k” and calls the woman a “sl*t” and a “wh*re”.
After receiving a complaint from a member of the public, supervisors disciplined the worker.
They directed him to remove the video, which he did – believing it to be the end of the matter.
However, management instructed him to attend another meeting the following month.
They told the worker they planned to put him on a six-month performance improvement plan.
His union representative accused Sydney Trains of subjecting the worker to a form of “double jeopardy” by revisiting the matter 20 days later.
The worker rejected the performance plan, and Sydney Trains subsequently dismissed him.
Workers Compensation Claim
The worker filed a $30,250 workers compensation claim for “psychological injury” he suffered as a result of the disciplinary action.
Transport NSW denied liability, so the Personal Injury Commission of NSW heard the matter earlier this month.
Commissioner Peacock did not dispute the worker had suffered psychological injury stemming from the incident.
However, she ultimately ruled he was not eligible for compensation.
“When I weigh all of the evidence in the balance and weigh the rights of the applicant to a fair process as well as the objective of the respondent in being able to respond to behaviour of one its employees that both brings the respondent into disrepute and demeans and publicly degrades a fellow worker, I am satisfied that the conduct of the respondent was in all the circumstances reasonable.”
Ms Peacock also noted that only the day before the worker posed the video, a notice had gone out to all staff…
“warning against posting on social media any content that could damage the reputation of the respondent or which is obscene or might bring the respondent into disrepute whilst identifiable as an employee of the respondent”.
Think before you post
Employment law expert Miles Heffernan warned workers about the dangers of social media.
“Always assume that anything you upload to social media will be seen by your employer, so think before you post,” he said.
“Never be critical of your current or former employer, their clients, or your workmates.
“And if you decide to be racist, or sexist, or a homophobe on social media, expect to lose your job.
“That is unless you’re a federal MP like Andrew Laming, who gets away with all sorts of appalling conduct online.”
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