HR Strange But True!
November 17, 2005

Australia is famous for its kangaroos, koala bears, and Great Barrier Reef, but it is also the setting of some strange workplace law cases.

Take the cases of Louise Kelsey and Jirra Collings Ware.

In her case, Kelsey cites an unusual workplace incident as the cause of her blindness: a kiss.

Kelsey, a maid at the Park Hyatt hotel, testified in Melbourne, Australia, that she suffered from post traumatic stress disorder after a Uruguayan soccer player, a guest at the hotel, kissed her against her will, the Daily Telegraph (Sydney) reports. She claimed the stress disorder led to her blindness.

"The most powerful kiss in history," said a deriding doctor for the defense. The hotel agreed to settle the case and is negotiating the terms, according to the newspaper.

Hide the Waste Basket

Ware, an insurance broker, was also at the center of an unusual workplace law case in Australia.

Ware's former employer, OAMPS Insurance Brokers, said it fired Ware for failing to improve his conduct after coming to work drunk on several occasions, urinating in a waste basket on one occasion, and missing work, the Daily Telegraph reports.

In a complaint, however, Ware accused the firm of discriminating against him for having attention deficit disorder and suffering from depression.

The company said it gave Ware plenty of opportunities to improve his conduct and encouraged him to seek help, warning Ware that his drinking was "unacceptable" and giving him time off for psychiatric visits, the newspaper reports.

The company eventually demoted Ware and then terminated him after he failed so show up for work.

In doing so, a Federal Magistrates Court said, the company discriminated against Ware based on his condition, and that Ware's former manager failed to do enough to accommodate Ware's condition, the newspaper reports. The court awarded Ware $10,000 in compensation.

Sources: News of the Weird, via, Daily Telegraph

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