Claims Main Roads department ‘victimised’ employee dismissed

A SUNSHINE Coast man has lost a legal case against his former employer, the Department of Transport and Main Roads that he claimed victimised him and forced him into taking an early retirement.

In an industrial relations case, former Gympie and Nambour customer service employee and Maroochydore driving examiner D'Arcy Casaubon claimed the department failed to protect him from bullying behaviour and did not deliver a just outcome after it investigated complaints against him.

He also said he was pressured into accepting early retirement and wanted to be paid about $170,000 compensation.

But the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission found in favour of the department, saying its actions were not bullying behaviour and that there was no flaw in the department's investigation process.

A commission judgment published on Thursday said Mr Casaubon was "a beneficiary" of the retirement package, not a victim.

The court documents said Mr Casaubon thought management considered him to be a problem because he was a union representative and was "outspoken in his views".

The documents said the department investigated Mr Casaubon in 2004 after co-workers and customers complained about him being arrogant towards a driving school instructor and rude towards examinees. There were other complaints made against him.

After moving him to Gympie and Nambour and later Spring Hill, in October 2008 the department offered him a voluntary retirement package, equivalent to a year's salary with reduced tax and worth more than $40,000. He accepted the package.

The commission's judgment said he did not start legal action until 2011 and Mr Casaubon submitted he was not in the proper frame of mind during that time.

He fought in court for the retirement contract to be declared void, and for the department to pay him $169,379.51 compensation.

But the commission found there was no factual foundation to support Mr Casaubon's claims and dismissed the case.

- APN NEWSDESK



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