The Federal Circuit Court of Australia has convicted Australia Post of breaching sec 9 of the Racial Discrimination Act by failing to take remedial action when faced with a number of complaints from a driver who had been racially “abused” on several occasions. Despite acknowledging that Australia Post had an “wholly exemplary” formal position on racial equality in the workplace Judge Burchardt said that “While the training and educational side of things cannot in my view on the evidence be the subject of criticism, what is starkly lacking is an effective response on the occasions when allegations of racist conduct were raised”. This was enough to render Australia Post vicariousy liable and thus guilty of a contravention of the Act. The case has been adjourned for further submission about penalty and compensation.
Murugesu v Australian Postal Corporation & Anor (2015) FCCA 2852delivered12 November 2015