Thursday, 22 February 2018 11:18

TechnologyOne faces second complaint of bullying Featured

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A former cloud project manager at the tech firm TechnologyOne has filed a complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission, alleging discrimination on the grounds of her sex, disability and race, and also victimisation.

In the complaint, which iTWire has seen, Ana Monteiro named TechnologyOne founder and chairman Adrian Di Marco and Cloud Transition and Enablement director Craig Taylor.

In a statement sent to iTWire following a request for comment, TechnologyOne denied all the accusations levelled by Monteiro.

In her complaint, Monteiro says the disability she faced was anxiety and depression, while the race factor was because she is Brazilian. She claimed that she had been victimised because she tried to complain about her situation within the company.

According to the complaint, Monteiro said she joined the company in May 2015 and was switched to the Cloud Transition Team in June 2016 as a result of which she reported to Taylor.

"Ms Monteiro resigned from Technology One in November 2017 as a result of the culture of TechnologyOne, and the lack of action from human resources regarding the ongoing bullying, discrimination and intimidation that she was subjected to from her direct manager, Mr Taylor," the complaint says.

It alleges that Taylor was "verbally abusive, intimidating, discriminatory and threatening towards her". Alleged examples of such conduct are also detailed in the complaint, including numerous claims about the use of four-letter words towards her.

This is the second instance of TechnologyOne facing such complaints; the company and Di Marco face a $14.82 million unfair dismissal and bullying claim from its former Victorian manager Behnam Roohizadegan, who worked at the firm for a decade.

His case is to be heard at the Federal Court in Melbourne beginning on 16 April.

In a media statement, Harmers Workplace Lawyers, the law firm handling both Roohizadegan's and Monteiro's cases, said Monteiro "intends to seek reform orders in an attempt to prevent recurrence of such adverse impact on health. Ms Monteiro is also aware of a number of other victims of TechnologyOne bullying, including at least two who have attempted to commit suicide as a result of the alleged bullying culture at TechnologyOne".

TechnologyOne chief executive Edward Chung said in the statement sent to iTWire that Harmers’ statement, dated 19 February 2018, was part of "their standard operating procedure to use the media to publish unsubstantiated claims, in order to get companies to settle regardless of the merits of the case".

"Harmers are clearly mounting a campaign against TechnologyOne, and are out there ‘ambulance chasing’ supposed victims. Given we have employed many thousands of staff over our 30 years, I am sure there are a few disgruntled individuals.

“We note that in one case the employee was terminated because of poor performance, and in the second case the employee was being managed because of their poor performance. The allegations raised by these individuals were thoroughly and independently investigated at the time, and found to be baseless.

“We deny all the claims. TechnologyOne treats all staff with integrity and fairness. We have a large and competent HR team to ensure staff are well-supported and that this sort of thing is appropriately managed. TechnologyOne is an independently recognised employer of choice.

“TechnologyOne views many of the statements made as mischievous, unsupported and emotive. These allegations are just that and are yet to be tested in court. TechnologyOne will be vigorously defending these claims and we remain confident of success."

As per the complaint, Monteiro has sought cultural reform; compensation for past and future economic loss; compensation by way of general damages for pain and suffering, stress, humiliation, dislocation of life and damage to professional reputation; recompense for medical expenses; and recompense for legal costs.

Following the AHRC investigation, she has sought that the matter proceed to conciliation, prior to the necessity for it to be pursued in court.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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