Boss charged after alleged harassment of young workers

It is alleged seven workers, aged as young as 14, were sexually harassed by their boss and an older worker. The accused cannot be identified for legal reasons.

The director, aged in his 50s, faces two charges under section 26(1) of the Occupational Health and Safety Act in relation to seven workers for failing to ensure that, as far as is reasonably practicable, the workplace was without risks to health.

A worker, aged in his 20s, is charged with a single breach of section 25(1)(b) of the OHS Act for failing to take reasonable care for the health and safety of a person who may be affected by their acts or omissions at a workplace.

Both companies are also charged with a single breach of section 26(1) of the OHS Act, one in relation to six workers, the second in relation to four workers.

Under the OHS Act, duty holders must take all reasonably practicable steps to protect workers from physical and mental injury. This includes taking all reasonable steps to prevent and effectively deal with sexual harassment in the workplace.

The matter is listed for a filing hearing at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on 29 March 2023.

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