Several weeks ago we reported on a case where a man was suing his former employer for harassment because he repeatedly passed gas down under. We would should remind you this case was in Australia, and the workplace was “down under,” not the gas passing. Well, now that we think about it – oh, never mind.
At any rate, a Melbourne, Australia engineer was claiming his supervisor bullied him by repeatedly farting on him as well as “thrusting his bum” at him on numerous occasions. He was seeking $1.8 million dollars in damages. The man has been representing himself, and after losing the first round, had filed an appeal. In that appeal he claimed that “flatulence was a form of bullying” and labeled his former boss as a serial farter.
Well, the appeals court has ruled, and the serial farter and his company came out smelling like a rose. The Victoria state Court of Appeal upheld the previous ruling that even if the allegations were true, flatulence did not necessarily constitute bullying.
The company, in its defense, pointed out that the engineer did not make any harassment claims until after he lost his job, which they said was due to the economic downturn in 2008. They also said they would stop serving cruciferous vegetables in the company cafeteria (not really, but enthusiasts of the television show Big Bang Theory will understand that joke).
The man remains unassuaged and has vowed to take his case even higher. He intends to address it with the High Court, Australia's final court of appeal. It sounds like this guy's boss wasn't the only one who could raise a stink.
In the meantime, this is good news for companies with flatulent supervisors. Intentionally farting on employees is not bullying behavior. Let er' rip. If you want to fart down under, or rather if you are down under and want to fart, the law has your back. Or is on your side. Or has your backside. Whatever.
We just wanted to update you, as keeping you informed on the latest, if not greatest events is what we do. It is just a value we provide and are confident it is worth every penny you spent for it.
Have a great day, and remember, avoid cruciferous vegetables.
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Robert Wilson is President & CEO of WorkersCompensation.com, and "From Bob's Cluttered Desk" comes his (often incoherent) thoughts, ramblings, observations and rants - often on workers' comp or employment issues, but occasionally not.
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