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Sex harassment case hits IBM Australia

Verbal and physical claims

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A former IBM employee is suing the company for more than A$1m over repeated and ongoing harassment from a superior, according to The Australian.

The report, picked up by the ABC's AM programme, says the staff member (who cannot be named) suffered both verbal and physical harassment. This included her supervisor rubbing himself against her, putting his hand on her leg and up her dress, and suggesting that she would increase sales "if you would get your breasts out".

According to the ABC, the woman twice attempted suicide. This was followed by the perpetrator leaving IBM in 2009: the ABC reported that he resigned ahead of being dismissed, while The Australian reports that he was "forced to resign".

Law firm Maurice Blackburn is handling the case and seeking A$1.1m against the company, on the grounds that the woman is so devastated by the events that she may remain permanently unable to work.

IBM has declined comment until it has examined the claim. ®

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