EWS Court Ruling

Reality Bites in Bullying and Harassment Claims

The Seven Network has been ordered by the Personal Injury Commission of New South Wales to pay a My Kitchen Rules contestant ongoing compensation of $22,000 per year for psychological injury sustained from appearing in the reality TV show, in what is the second reality TV compensation claim to hit the network.

The Applicant, Piper Green (O’Neill) alleged she was damaged by “vilification and bullying from producers and the network”. In the Judgment the Commission stated that “The applicant alleged that this involved ‘over 40-hour work weeks, control over her phone, distortions of her actions and words after editing, victimisation, bullying and harassment and unfair treatment and adverse interactions with other workers, producers and staff..”

This claim follows a similar case against Seven in 2019, in which a former contestant on a different reality show, House Rules, was portrayed as a “villain”. In that case the NSW Compensation Commission ordered the network to pay the contestant compensation for psychological injury suffered after she was “harassed and bullied” during the filming of the renovation program.

In both cases, it was found that both applicants were employees of Seven when they appeared in the reality shows. These cases could have wide-ranging implications for makers of Australian reality TV programs, many of which rely on portraying the contestants in a harsh light for drama.

These cases highlight the need for employers to be vigilant and conscious of the way that employees are interacted with in the workplace. Indeed, it is these cases and other recent cases which has highlighted the need to managers and front-line staff to be educated about bullying and harassment in the workplace and how to properly respond to bullying harassment claims in the workplace. With studies showing that two thirds of Australian’s have experienced discrimination, bullying or harassment in the workplace, it is becoming more and more likely that Manager’s will at some point, if not already have to deal with a claim in their workplace.

Can you afford not to have your Management team across this workplace issue? Effective Workplace Solutions is running a series of seminars on this topic and how to handle complaints in the workplace. Click here to book your team into one of our seminars.

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bullyingandharassment, employmentlawtweed, humanresources, humanresourcestweedheads, workplacelaw

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