Workplace harassment - a health issue: Anti-discrimination cases and work compensation claims
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This article describes the adverse health-related effects of racial and sexual harassment elicited from files held by the Western Australian Equal Opportunity Commission where the complainant has nominated sexual or racial harassment as a ground of discrimination. Those results are compared with publicly available data on work-related stress claims obtained from the Compendium of Workers' Compensation Statistics Australia 2004-06, arising from allegations of harassment. Information gleaned from a survey of unreported court decisions (from publicly available legal data bases, such as www.austlii.edu.au and www.ohs.alert.com) is also reviewed. The purpose of examining this data is to consider the links between various forms of unlawful harassment, workplace stress and the evidence of adverse effect upon worker health. The results of this triangulation of data are consistent with that body of research which shows that workplace harassment can give rise to a range of adverse health outcomes. This paper explores how the inter-relationship of anti-discrimination and workers compensation laws may affect claimant behaviours.
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