Woman sues mining company for sexual harassment

A Pilbara mine worker says she was told to accept sexual harassment in the workplace because it was a part of the mining industry.

Kylie Gordon is suing her former employer, WAG Earthmoving, and has already taken her fight to the Australian Human Rights Commission with allegations of sexual harassment while she was working as a roustabout at the Sino Iron Project at Cape Preston in Karratha.

She says after she complained, she was unfairly sacked by the company.

The case is due in the Federal Magistrate’s Court next week and while Ms Gordon is refusing to comment, the West Australian obtained documents which show her claims that she was sexually harassed by Drew Marsden, Northrock’s operations manager, several times.

He allegations against Marsden include claims he grabbed her crotch and made lewd comments, as well as asking her to have sex with him.

Gordon alleges Marsden made comments to her son, who also worked on the mine site, saying “you and your old man wouldn’t care if I f….. your old girl,” causing other workers to talk about her and affecting her work.

When she made complaints to employer Warren Greenup, of WAG Earthmoving, she claims his response was “So what. That is mining, You should grow up. You and (your son) are trying to stir trouble.”

Marsden has also declined to comment on the case, but his lawyer said on behalf of his client that the action “was comprehensively denied and would be comprehensively defended.”

His lawyer also added that Marsden has the full confidence of Northrock.

Gordon alleges she was sacked when she returned to work a few days after bringing her concerns to the attention of Greenup.

Northrock declined to take part in conciliations talks held by the Australian Human Rights Commission, which were attended by the other parties involved.

The process failed and the commission came to the conclusion there was no chance of a reconciliation.
Gordon is claiming an unspecified amount of compensation for pain and suffering, economic loss and medical expenses.

The claims by Gordon are not the first of their kind for the state’s mining industry.

On Monday the lawyer for Jill Mustard, a Woodside employee who claims she faced sexually discriminated against, said he does not believe the company can withdraw its settlement offer, after Mustard told the media she had been offered a six figure sum.

Mustard claimed she was demoted after returning from maternity leave after withdrawing its offer, Woodside said it is happy for the case to also be dealt with in the Federal Magistrate’s Court.


To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.