skip to Main Content
1800 437 825 Media
Worker Sacked For Allegedly Masturbating Loses Discrimination Claim

Worker sacked for allegedly masturbating loses discrimination claim

A worker sacked for allegedly masturbating at work has lost his discrimination claim in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission.

The man claimed he had been itching a scratch at the time, which he said related to a chronic skin condition he suffers.

He argued the condition is an impairment, and therefore, a protected attribute under anti-discrimination laws.

However, the Commission found that he failed to established that he had an impairment at the relevant time, or that he had suffered direct discrimination.

Worker sacked for allegedly masturbating

Daniel Whipps worked for The Battery Store Australia based in Townsville.

Staff in the Sydney office saw him on CCTV appearing to masturbate in a public area of the north-Queensland warehouse office in October 2018.

Former manager Kishor Kumar showed Whipps still images taken from the CCTV footage.

The images showed Whipps sitting on a chair with his shorts pulled down exposing the top part of his left thigh.

Hs left hand can be seen down his shorts, approximately up to halfway down his forearm, while his hand appears to be lower than his abdominal wall.

Itching a rash

Whipps denied he had been masturbating when he had his hands down the front of his shorts.

Instead, he said a chronic skin condition he has suffered for 20 years caused him to unconsciously scratch.

Whipps’s ex-wife confirmed he suffered from an itchy rash between his belly button and pubic bone and on his “behind’’.

She said he often scratched his rash through his clothes and, if necessary, excuse himself and go to a private area when he felt the urge to scratch.

Whipps claimed Kumar showed him the photos of the alleged “masturbatory act” to embarrass and provoke him and to also try and make him resign.

Impairment discrimination

Whipps claimed The Battery Store unlawfully discriminated against him on the basis of an impairment, namely his skin condition.

He wanted $10,000 for embarrassment and suffering, in addition to $4,400 for lost wages.

However, The Battery Store said the primary reason it sacked Whipps was because he allegedly assaulted his manager, together with the “masturbatory act’’ and general poor work performance.

In addition, the company said Whipps never disclosed his rash in his pre-employment health examination, or to anyone before October 2018.

Kumar told the Commission if he had known about the rash, he would have expected Whipps to go to the bathroom, and not scratch himself in public view.

“It’s a public area. Anybody could walk in.

“I could have walked in. One of my customers could have walked in and seen him in that position.

“It would have been embarrassing, not just for him, but for us as a company.’’

What the commission said

Commissioner Catherine Hartigan said she wasn’t satisfied that Whipps had a rash at the time of his dismissal.

Furthermore, Commissioner Hartigan found Whipps had not established that he had an impairment at the relevant time or that he had suffered direct discrimination.

As a result, she dismissed his claim.

NOW WATCH:

 

Call our team at Discrimination Claims on

1800 437 825

To connect with us, please follow us on

 

Back To Top