Unfair Dismissal Case
Keenan v Leighton Contractors is a case whereby, a team leader told a board member to “F*** off”, repeatedly proposing to meet up with a female colleague and kissed an employee at the annual Christmas party. Mr Keenan was found later to be unfairly dismissed by the Fair work Commission, as his employer was partly at fault for serving unlimited free alcohol at the party.
Mr. Hatcher for The Fair Work Commission found that the dismissal was unfair on the grounds that:
1. There was no evidence of the board member taking offence or even remembering the incident;
2. The proposition to meet up with a work colleague was not sexual harassment, even if the intention was to have a romantic relationship with the female colleague;
3. Lastly, the kiss occurred after the work event had finished, and had no connection with Mr. Keenan’s employment.
Furthermore, Mr. Hatcher added that the employer had part blame for serving unlimited alcohol to employees and not following up the venue regarding responsible service of alcohol.
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