Employment Courts and Public Servants

We’ve had plenty of strange cases in our Employment Relations Authority’s hearings.

But this saga involving a public servant (what else) copping an injury while swinging from the chandelier during a romp with a colleague means that Australia wins the Bledisloe Cup for weird decisions hands down:

A PUBLIC servant who was injured while having sex during a work trip has won compensation after a five-year legal battle.

The case, which has involved three legal appeals, is likely to have significant repercussions for employers, as it clarifies when they are responsible for staff.

The woman, who worked for a federal government agency, was sent on a work trip to an office in regional NSW in November 2007.

Her employer booked her a motel, where she arranged to meet and dine with a male friend after work.

They returned to her room and had sex, during which a glass light fitting above the bed was pulled off its mount and fell onto her face.

”If the applicant had been injured while playing a game of cards in her motel room she would be entitled to compensation even though it could not be said that her employer induced or encouraged her to engage in such an activity,” the judges said.

”In the absence of any misconduct, or an intentionally self-inflicted injury, the fact that the applicant was engaged in sexual activity rather than some other lawful recreational activity while in her motel room does not lead to any different result.”

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