2 min read

Case Win: Resolving Workplace Bullying and Discrimination - A Case Study

This is a case study on bullying and discrimination, and what nurses (and other healthcare professionals) can do to fight it. Unfortunately, over 90% of nurses have either been bullied, or have witnessed bullying in the workplace.

Background

Kylie, an NPAA member of the Queensland branch, found herself subjected to relentless bullying by her Manager. The situation escalated when Kylie filed a Work Cover (WC) claim for psychological injury. Unfortunately, her access to crucial evidence supporting her claim was revoked during annual leave, complicating the already distressing circumstances.

WC initially denied Kylie’s claim due to insufficient evidence, but labelled the incidents as bullying and harassment. Rather than acknowledging these findings, the Manager intensified her targeting of Kylie, creating a hostile work environment.

Seeking Resolution

Recognizing the urgency of the matter, a 'Without Prejudice' discussion was arranged. It became evident during the discussion that the Manager was unwilling to accept accountability. Additionally, the absence of clear workplace policies or procedures to hold the Manager/franchise owner accountable exacerbated the situation.

Kylie, weary of the ongoing mistreatment, expressed her reluctance to return to work. Her experiences under management triggered memories of her past as a domestic violence survivor, making her work environment unbearable.

Negotiations and Settlement

In pursuit of a resolution, negotiations ensued over several meetings. The franchise owner counter-offered the initial settlement proposal, ultimately agreeing to pay Kylie a compensation sum of AUD$29,000 for general damages. The settlement, formalized in a signed deed of release effective November 30th, included the following terms:

Compensation: AUD$29,000, untaxed, for general damages.

Non-compete clause: Partially waived, allowing Kylie to work in or start her own business in the same field as Healthcare Franchise, with certain restrictions.
Basic deed provisions: Mutual confidentiality and non-disparagement clauses.

Payment: Within 7 days after the signing of the deed.

Statement of service: Provided to Kylie.

Access to belongings: Kylie granted access to the office to collect her belongings.

Conclusion

Although the scars from this kind of trauma can take a long time to fade, if ever, the resolution of this case signifies the importance of a fair and comprehensive approach to workplace disputes.

In addressing issues of bullying and discrimination, a well-negotiated settlement not only compensates the affected party but also establishes clear guidelines for future conduct. It is a reminder that every employee deserves a work environment free from harassment and discrimination.

How is the NPAA so effective in defending members during workplace issues and disputes? Our experienced and professional case managers use our unique RED™ case resolution system.

Why is the NPAA different? We believe that real change in healthcare STARTS with empowering frontline nurses, not bureaucrats. 

If you are a member of NPAA and need assistance with a workplace issue, please submit a member support ticket on your dashboard, or contact us at 1300 263 374 - hotline@npaa.asn.au

To find out more about NPAA and become protected today visit: npaa.redunion.com.au/join