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Patrick H.
Patrick H., Lawyer
Category: Australia Law
Satisfied Customers: 5421
Experience:  Dip Law LPAB - Sydney based lawyer
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My wife is a deputy chief in a radiology department in a

Customer Question

My wife is a deputy chief in a radiology department in a public hospital. She has worked here for 10 years. She has helped the department grow as the department was about 2 to 3 years old at the time when she started and climbed to her current position. She has been in this position of responsibility for the last 8 years. She has worked tirelessly sacrificing her family and health for her work. She juggles at least 7 roles and has been doing this for the last 8 years. She has been well respected and held in high esteem by all categories of staff. About 5 years ago she had a new chief come into the dept. She was asked her operations manager to show the Chief the ropes as she use to do most of the previous chief's work and was in the acting chief capacity on several occasions. She taught him all he needed to know. She taught him how to make rosters and as soon as he learnt it decided to do it himself. In the other sites rosters are made by the deputy chief??? He then decided to start bringing in his friends from other hospitals as jobs became available and giving them first preferences in the rosters and began to put my wife on 8pm to 12pm, 12pm to 8am shifts. She was also given weekend shifts which no other deputy chief does across the sites. The word has gone around that his friend the CT supervisor is being primed for the deputy position and attempts is being made to discredit her. People that have been faithful to her is given a hard or have been asked to leave for reasons that are ?. Anyone who questions the CT Supervisor is given a hard time and has eventually left. She has been left out of Interstate PD's and has had to fund herself whilst others are fully funded. She has not had a pay increase for the 8 years and kept on the same scale whilst the Chief's friend's are earning as much as she is. When the chief goes on leave she is rostered away from the hospital or rostered off so that his friend can be in charge. When any new modality comes up she is meant to do all the work but is taken away at the last minute and given to him so that she gets no credit. When she takes these concerns higher up, they have a few words with these people and made to be the bad one. When the dept. has any functions she is either rostered away, on nights or given off. The other staff have also become part of these two because they are also given what they want. When she is given to run the dept., most people are given off, wanting her to fail..... This is just the tip of the iceberg but it's affecting our family life and health..... sometimes i wonder whether it's racism or sexism or a bit of both.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Australia Law
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for your question.

It sounds like a type of workplace bullying. Taking legal action for bullying without any other context is possible but it your wife's case would become stronger if you can demonstrate that the bullying behaviour is arising because of descrimination on a prohibited basis under state or federal anti discirmination laws. Although it is not clear which state you are in, all states of Australia have laws which prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion, and most also have laws agains descrimination because of family obligations.

You can read about bullying here, and may receive some further advice from the Fair Work Ombudsman if you contact them:

At a minimum, I would suggest your wife start keeping records of any occasions where she feels she is receiving unreasonable treatment or demands, as this may prove useful should legal action later be necessary. Given the long history of problems, and the suspicion they are at some point potentially soon going to force her out of her role, I think it very much may be worthwhile engaging an employment lawyer to review her case in more detail than can be done through a service such as this.

I trust the above assists



Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Patrick, I agree this is bullying but each time we go higher to solve the problem it just seems to get worse. My wife is currently on a 6 night shift from 4 to 12 because she had approached the head radiologist who now refuses to talk to her after having a discussion with the chief. She has had an excellent professional relationship with this radiologist but now has gone bad for no apparent reason. It just seems like a no win situation. I have encouraged her to her diary of happening at work, which we have. Thanks. Vishnu
Expert:  Patrick H. replied 1 year ago.

The more you describe the situation, the more apparent it seems that something improper is going on, and the stronger my advice that you get advice from an employment lawyer who can review your case in more detail. I strongly suspect your wife may have good grounds for taking legal action, but only a fully briefed lawyer can actually take that action.