A marketing agency in Melbourne has been taken to court over claims of homophobia and bullying.
Glen Hall (main photo), who worked as a marketing director at Communicado Marketing is suing the company for failing to award him his entitled bonuses, as well as continual bullying.
Hall was owed a bonus of $120,000 from the agency having generated more than $1 million for the company from his work on a Dulux wash and wear campaign.
However, according to a statement released by Hall, rather than receiving his bonus, the 36-year-old was subjected to an onslaught of abuse from senior management.
Hall said: “When I asked to have my contractual bonus paid, I was aggressively called a ‘greedy f—-t’ by one of the directors.”
“Those two words completely destabilised me, they left me powerless.”
Hall later became privy to a group message between his colleagues, where he was referred to as “clown boy”, “homo”, “wanker”, “bitchy poof”, “freak” and “f—er”.
One message Hall found particularly disturbing read: “I wish there was a gun emoticon” and “now f— off Clown Boy, these bitches are going to kick your arse”.
“My reports of bullying were met with responses like “suck it up” and “get over it”.”
“False statements were made to authorities including Worksafe that I live a very “gay” lifestyle and am active in the gay scene, that I took copious amounts of Valium, that I was regularly sick on Mondays and that I was escorted from the office for being high on drugs.”
“It was also implied I suffered with HIV.”
B&T has contacted to Communicado Marketing’s managing director in regards to the legal stoush, who replied: “Unfortunately I’m unable to comment due to legal proceedings.”
The situation is made more complex by Hall’s stake in Communicado, having bought a $55,000 share in the company.
“The incidents have completely eroded the career path I had spent years working towards,” he said.
“I know I didn’t do anything to deserve it and I try to tell myself that there isn’t something inherently wrong with me, but it’s difficult to believe because I feel like a failure – certainly like I’m less of a person.
“I feel like I’m living in the past as I am often replaying these moments in my head. It’s torture. Other times I feel defeated, powerless and alone.”
“Even after I left they continued the attacks, they had my LinkedIn profile shut down, they spoke to two future employers in a deliberate effort to jeopardise my ability to get back into the workforce and rebuild my career.”
Hall is now being represented by Shine Lawyer’s Will Barsby.
Speaking to the Herald on the case, Barsby said: “These sort of cases are a bit of a check for employers to know what they are obligated to do and remind us of what employees are entitled to, as well, in terms of their basic rights not to be harassed and bullied at work.”
Under the Brodie’s Law legislation, which seeks to protect professionals from workplace bullying, those who carry out this level of peer intimidation can be punished with up 10 years behind bars.
Hall now works for a different agency and is seeking $450,000 in lost bonuses from Communicado.