Australian retail chain pays out biggest sex pest claim

Monday, October 18, 2010

SYDNEY - An employee of Australia’s David Jones Ltd has won 850,000 Australian dollars ($850,000) in compensation for being sexually harassed by the department store chain’s former chief executive, the retailer said Monday.

Kristy Fraser-Kirk, 27, had demanded 37 million Australian dollars but settled out of court for around the same sum David Jones had offered when she made the claim four months ago.

“This has been a difficult journey but on that I felt was important,” Fraser-Kirk said in a separate statement.

Fraser-Kirk, who keeps her job as a publicist with David Jones, said initially that she would donate any money received from David Jones to a charity for women affected by sexual misconduct in the workplace. She now says she is keeping all the money.

Mark McInnes, 45, admitted “unbecoming behaviour” towards Fraser-Kirk at company functions when he resigned four months ago, after being with David Jones for 13 years and chief executive for seven.

He said he felt vindicated by the settlement because the he said the “vast majority” of Fraser-Kirk’s allegations were untrue. He described the lawsuit as an abuse of the legal process.

“I welcome today’s settlement,” McInnes said in a statement. “It brings to an end a difficult time in many people’s lives.”

The case, Australia’s biggest sexual harassment claim, had been closely watched by the business community because of the enormity of the compensation asked for.

Filed under: Immigration, Lawsuit, World

Tags: , ,
will not be displayed