The Full Federal Court has upheld Rebecca Richardson’s appeal against Oracle Corporation Australia, awarding her damages of $130,000 for sexual harassment, and ordering Oracle to pay the costs of the appeal.
In February 2013, the judge at first instance found that Ms Richardson had been sexually harassed and that Oracle, as her employer, was vicariously liable. Oracle was ordered to pay general damages of $18,000 for breach of the Sex Discrimination Act.
Ms Richardson appealed on the basis that the award of damages was manifestly inadequate.
The Full Federal Court handed down its decision on that appeal on Tuesday 15 July 2014.
All three judges agreed that the original award of damages was inadequate, and confirmed that the community has generally gained a deeper appreciation of the experience of hurt and humiliation that victims of sexual harassment experience. The Court increased the amount of general damages from $18,000 to $100,000.
The majority judges also found that Ms Richardson should be awarded an additional $30,000 in damages for economic loss.
It is noted that Harmers Workplace Lawyers acted for Ms Richardson, the successful appellant in this matter.