• Alison Phillis

Bad Behaviour

12 September 2014


For 20 years, readers of the Centralian Advocate looked forward to the Friday edition. Therein Povey Stirk Lawyers published a 300 word tale of fiction based on legally newsworthy events.

The following is a sample of these blogs

Maryanne loved her work as a graphic designer but had recently been feeling quite uncomfortable about the behaviour of a work colleague, Paul. Paul was overly attentive to her, complimenting her on her appearance, and sending her frequent emails and text messages.


In order to avoid him, Maryanne transferred to another department, but even though they no longer worked together, Paul continued to send her texts and emails. He developed a habit of coming to her office after using the company gym, dressed only in his gym shorts. He frequently invited her to drinks and dinner, despite her repeatedly asking him not to.


Maryanne started to dread going to work. She found it difficult to get out of bed in the mornings, and used up all her sick leave. Her performance at work began to suffer, and she was counselled by her employer about her irritability with other staff. She was aware that Paul was a personal friend of the CEO of the company, and was worried that if she complained about his conduct she would be ignored. Although Maryanne was only just managing financially following a recent separation, she considered resigning because she couldn’t handle it any longer.


Maryanne consulted a lawyer who advised her to make an application for workers compensation benefits, and to apply to the Fair Work Commission for anti-bullying orders. Maryanne’s doctor gave her a certificate for four weeks, and Maryanne received workers compensation benefits and counselling. The Fair Work Commission made orders that Paul must not send Maryanne emails or texts, except in an emergency, that he must not make comments on her appearance, and that he must not do any exercise at the company gym after 8.00am.


If you think you might have a claim for workplace injury or bullying, you should contact a solicitor for advice.

Disclaimer: This document provides general information and is not legal advice. While we endeavour to ensure the information is correct at the date of publication, laws frequently change. If anything in this post is relevant to you, please contact us for advice on your specific situation