‘I’ll turn you gay’: Worker sues boss for alleged sexual harassment


oil rig worker sexual harassment queensland
Photo: Adobe Stock

A Queensland oil rig worker has sued his former employer after his male boss allegedly sexually harassed him for months.

In his claim filed in the Federal Circuit Court, Queensland man Cade Morrison said he was employed by Murarrie labour contractor Harness Energy Services when the alleged harassment began, the Courier-Mail reported.

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Morrison said his human resources manager, Vaughn Amete, told him he’d only get a pay rise if he agreed to date him.

Amete allegedly directed Morrison to share his bed with him and introduced Morrison to others as his partner.

“If you want a pay rise you’ll have to take me to dinner,” he allegedly told Morrison.

“I have 69 other people waiting for work.”

Amete allegedly also sent Morrison naked photos, including of his penis, in a bid to “turn him gay”.

“I will turn you, I can turn anyone,” Amete said, according to court documents seen by the Courier-Mail.

Morrison is seeking a total of $260,000 for damages, past economic loss and future economic loss.

‘If I ignored the sexual harassment, it would just get worse’

Morrison also alleges that Amete created a screensaver on his computer of photos of Morrison.

Amete allegedly added email appointments to Morrison’s work calendar including “movies and cuddles”, “your dessert” and “date dinner”.

After Morrison rejected Amete’s advances, Amete allegedly called him an “ungrateful c—”.

Morrison said in a statement to the Courier-Mail the harassment lasted for several months and he suffered social withdrawal as a result.

“Throughout the ordeal, I felt as though I had been pushed into a corner,” he said.

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“When I stood up for myself, I was subjected to verbal abuse and even threatened with my job. If I ignored the harassment, it would just get worse.”

Morrison said he made a complaint at work but his employer failed to properly address the situation so he  contacted a lawyer.

“I believe it’s important that all victims of sexual harassment, whether male or female, know their rights at work,” he said.

“By standing up for myself, I hope I can make a difference.”

Amete and the company have not responded to the claims. The case is due for a court hearing on December 20.

‘Either sex can suffer from sexual harassment’

Miles Heffernan from Discrimination Claims told QNews.com.au that either sex can suffer from discrimination and sexual harassment.

“Some people think that only women experience sexual harassment,” he said.

“However, men also become targets. Often though, they are reluctant to speak up, because of embarrassment or fear they won’t be believed.”

Discrimination Claims previously won a payout of $12,500 for a young worker harassed at work including with a doodle that basically said: “Ben loves dick.”

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