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January 2020

Bullying boss convicted and fined

WorkSafe v Wayne Allan Dennert (2016)

Facts

In April 2015, an 18-year-old apprentice carpenter made a complaint to WorkSafe that he had been bullied for more than 2 years by Mr Dennert, a sole trader, trading as Quality Carpentry and Building Maintenance. The allegations included incidents of verbal, physical and psychological bullying and harassment.

The WorkSafe investigation established that Mr Dennert had engaged in workplace
bullying and had also encouraged his workers to participate in bullying behaviour.

Judgment

Mr Dennert pleaded guilty and was penalised $12,500. He had a conviction recorded against his name and was also ordered to pay court costs of $757.71.

Lessons

Employers must ensure they have policies in place specifying that bullying is
unlawful. As an employer, you have an obligation to train and instruct all workers,
including contractors, in your policies.

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