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Oracle ordered to pay in sexual harassment case

Oracle Australia has been ordered by the Federal Court to pay former employee, Rebecca Richardson, $18,000 for damages as compensation for breaching section 28 of the Sex Discrimination Act 1984.

Presiding judge, Justice Robert Buchanan, told the court Oracle was precariously liable for the conduct of its employee, Randol Tucker, who was named in the sexual harassment case brought by Richardson.

But the $18,000 Justice Buchanan ordered Oracle to pay Richardson is a far cry from the $450,000 Richardson was originally seeking when the case was filed with the Federal Court in 2010.

Richardson and Tucker were working together at Oracle on a project for ANZ bank in 2008.

Richardson claimed Tucker made inappropriate comments such as "Rebecca, you and I fight so much, I think we were husband and wife in our last life," and "How do you think our marriage was? I bet the sex was hot."

She also claimed, but Tucker denied, he said words to effect: "We should go away for a dirty weekend; I love it when you're mean to me, makes me think you'd be hot in bed and I love your legs in that skirt. I'll be thinking about them wrapped around me all day long."

Oracle handed Tucker a warning following Richardson's complaint and wrote an apology via email, but Richardson said it wasn't sincere. She also claimed she was unfairly demoted after making her complaint, while Tucker still retained his consulting manager role.

Tucker's lawyer, Anna Perigo, the incidents were nothing more than 'light hearted banter' between workmates.


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