Former Woodside executive wins discrimination settlement battle
Posted on 31 May 2011
Former executive and mother of three, Jill Mustard, has claimed a legal and moral victory with resources company Woodside today agreeing to honour a discrimination settlement payment.
Mrs Mustard hired law firm Slater and Gordon to take action against the Perth based energy giant in 2009 after she was twice discriminated against after taking maternity leave.
Following legal proceedings in the Australian Human Rights Commission and the Federal Magistrates Court, Mrs Mustard accepted a six figure compensation pay out two months ago, only for Woodside to revoke it after it was accepted.
Woodside has now reversed that decision and the settlement was today approved by the Federal Magistrates Court.
Mrs Mustard said she was glad it had been resolved.
“While this was a difficult issue for me to take forward, as a senior female employee who sat on the company’s diversity committee representing women, this was not an issue I could walk away from”.
“I tried hard to resolve the issues in a constructive way both while at Woodside and through the legal process and I was disappointed when the company said that it was going to retract the original settlement,” she said.
“A more cooperative approach from Woodside could have resulted in a much more constructive outcome.”
"I would like to thank the many people that have supported me and my lawyers for seeing the issue through to a good outcome,” said Mrs Mustard.
Slater and Gordon Industrial lawyer Simon Millman said Mrs Mustard had enormous strength and courage to speak out about what she had experienced.
He said today's payment had vindicated Mrs Mustard.
“Jill Mustard is a role model for women in the workforce, showing other women that they should fight for what they believe in no matter how tough it may be.”
"We were extremely disappointed by Woodside's behaviour in this case and by the fact that they tried to renege on the original agreement. It has caused further distress and meant that this case has been more protracted then it needed to be, but it is a good result for Jill and it means she can put it all behind her.”
“This outcome is a clear message to all employers that sexual discrimination will not be tolerated,” he said.
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