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An Australian jewellery store owner has been ordered to pay a record amount of damages in a sexual harassment lawsuit. | Source: Shutterstock
An Australian jewellery store owner has been ordered to pay a record amount of damages in a sexual harassment lawsuit. | Source: Shutterstock

Sydney jeweller handed record penalty for sexual harassment

An Australian jewellery store owner has been ordered to pay a record amount of damages in a sexual harassment lawsuit.

Simon Grew, owner of Grew & Co., has been ordered to pay more than $268,000 in damages after the court found a former employee was sexually harassed and later victimised after filing a complaint to the Australian Human Rights Commission.

Federal Court Justice Anna Katzmann awarded the former employee $140,000 in general damages, $15,000 in aggravated damages, $23,070.75 for compensation of past economic loss, $46,284 for future financial loss, $3,000 for future out-of-pocket expenses, and $40,000 for victimisation.

Mia Pantechis, Maurice Blackburn principal lawyer
Mia Pantechis, Maurice Blackburn principal lawyer
"Too often, victims are met with aggressive behaviours when they complain to deter them from pursuing their rights."
Mia Pantechis, Maurice Blackburn

Maurice Blackburn principal lawyer, Mia Pantechis, told the Australian Financial Review that the decision set a record for the highest general damages awarded in a sexual harassment matter under the federal Sex Discrimination Act (SDA) 1984.

“Too often, victims are met with aggressive behaviours when they complain to deter them from pursuing their rights,” Pantechis said.

“These behaviours exacerbate the harm and humiliation suffered. The court has sanctioned such tactics by awarding additional damages.”

Before the resolution of this lawsuit, the largest general damages award under the federal SDA was $120,000 in 2019.

Jeweller has approached Mr Grew for comment on this matter; however, there has been no response at the time of publication.

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