Compo payout for former Hepburn Shire Council receptionist

A FORMER Hepburn Shire Council receptionist who alleged she was the victim of workplace bullying will receive compensation including medical costs. The compensation for an unknown amount follows a hearing in Ballarat Magistrates Court last December. In the case's recently published judgment Magistrate Brian Wright said he believed there had been a basis for criticism of Ms Haintz's work performance but the issues did not appear to have been properly handled by the shire."It is not for me to formally determine whether she was in fact harassed or bullied," he said. The court had heard Ms Haintz had worked for the shire for 18 years, but experienced problems when she transferred jobs in 2006.Ms Haintz said she was harassed and bullied by her two supervisors Katherine Atwood and Linda Campbell.Mr Wright said Ms Haintz was issued with a "performance expectation" letter in November 24, 2006 and in response she lodged a grievance notice which the shire did not acknowledge."For whatever reason, the issues as to Ms Haintz's work performance and the grievance issue was allowed to fester for six months until about June 2007," Mr Wright said.During 2007, Ms Haintz became distressed, feared going to work and would vomit with anxiety every morning, the court heard."Of all the evidence I have no doubt that Ms Haintz did suffer a work-related injury, being anxiety and depression, and that injury arose out of or in the course of her employment with the shire," Mr Wright said. Mr Wright ordered that Ms Haintz be entitled to weekly payments at the "no current work" capacity rate from June 20 2007 to February 1 2008 and payments at the current work capacity thereafter. Hepburn Shire Council chief executive officer Kaylene Conrick responded to The Courier with written statement. "Hepburn Shire Council and its workers compensation insurer accept Mr Wright's decision and have consequently carried out his instructions," it said.