Published: 28 April 2020
Author: Ryan Carlisle Thomas
Geelong City settles WorkCover stress claim
A former employee of the Geelong City Council has won her legal battle for injury compensation after it was found that she was not properly protected from the harassment and abuse of the former Mayor, Darryn Lyons.
The high profile case which featured heavily in local Geelong media (City hall oozed toxicity, says former lyons staffer and Workplace culture has changed, says council CEO) resulted in a significant payment to Ms. Wendy Hatton who was a senior staff member in the mayor’s office.
According to Ms. Hatton, the ex-Mayor “often slammed doors, sent distressing and inappropriate text messages and used threatening and aggressive language.”
“I felt harassed by him on a regular basis,” she said.
Commenting on the case, her lawyer, Ms. Simone Welsh of RCT Law, said that the work injury to her client has changed her life. "She went from being a high-functioning go-getter to someone who lacked the confidence to hardly even leave her house,” Ms Welsh said.
Psychological injury claims can be difficult
Ms. Welsh said that psychological injuries are complex and difficult to prosecute.
“Our WorkCover system makes it difficult for people with stress claims to access compensation. Despite that, we were able to fight and get Wendy a meaningful sum of damages for what she went through,” Ms. Welsh said.
“I’m proud that we fought and won for Wendy,” she added.