Employers urged to crack down on workplace bullying


WorkSafe Victoria has issued a plea to employers and workers to maximise anti-bullying efforts and to deal with it if it occurs. 

WorkSafe’s acting executive director, Stan Krpan, said the recent sentencing of four men, one a company director, and his company on charges relating to bullying sent a message to the entire community.

WorkSafe told Melbourne Magistrate Peter Lauritsen waitress Brodie Panlock, 19, was bullied by three workmates while her employer allowed it to go on.

An earlier Coroners inquest found Brodie committed suicide after being bullied in 2006. Magistrate Lauritsen said the working environment at Hawthorn’s Café Vamp was poisonous and the persistent bullying of Ms Panlock was in the worst category, yet nothing was done to stop it. 

Magistrate Lauritsen convicted and fined the four individual defendants, including the director of the company that owns Café Vamp a total of $115,000 and her employer, Map Foundation trading as Café Vamp, $220,000.

WorkSafe has produced two useful guides on bullying – Prevention and responding to bullying at work and What to do if bullying happens to you.

They can be found online or for more information call WorkSafe’s confidential advisory service: 1800 136 089.

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