A worker who says he suffered serious injuries while working at a Melbourne workplace has filed a class action lawsuit claiming that the company discriminated against him on the basis of race.
Key points:Caitlin Daley alleges her former employer discriminated against her because of her raceThe suit alleges the company has failed to protect workers’ rights on the jobThe company has been contacted by the ABC about the lawsuitKey pointsCat Zoom Lawyers, which represents Daley, alleges that the workplace in question was set up to protect cats from dangerous workplace environments and that it discriminated against Daley on the grounds of her colour.
“As a result of the discriminatory practices of Cat Zoom, I have experienced serious health and safety risks that could have been avoided and have been unable to continue my employment,” Daley said.
“The employer’s treatment of my employment is a disgrace and a direct violation of the Australian Workers’ Compensation Act.”
Ms Daley worked at Cat Zoom from August 2012 to August 2013.
She alleged that on September 6, 2013, she suffered a fractured skull and was forced to go to hospital.
“I was left completely unwell and was also in a medically-induced coma, requiring emergency medical treatment at the Royal Melbourne Hospital,” Ms Daley told the ABC.
“It was a very dangerous situation that left me in a vegetative state.
The work environment at Cat-Zoom was extremely dangerous and unsafe.
It was also dangerous for my partner and myself.”‘
Cats are not a race’Cat Zoom claims that its employees were denied fair and reasonable accommodation for their disabilities by the employer.
The company claims that it complied with the Australian Workplace Safety and Health Act, which prohibits workplace discrimination.
“Cat Zoom was aware of and actively engaged in an ongoing compliance programme,” Cat Zoom said in a statement.
“In March 2014, it notified Cat Zoom of a potential breach of the applicable legislation by a former employee who had been engaged by Cat Zoom to ensure compliance with its workplace safety and health requirements.”
However, because of a misunderstanding between the former employee and Cat Zoom in respect of the employee’s race, Cat Zoom took no further action against the former employer.
“The company says the company did not conduct any investigation or follow up on any complaints that were made about the former staff.
The complaint was lodged with the Victorian Workers Compensation Tribunal.
Cat Zoom is currently seeking compensation for the cost of medical and other medical expenses and loss of earnings, which it says were incurred because of the injury.
The court has not yet made a decision on whether to grant the company’s application for damages.