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Telstra Sued For Sexual Harassment And Sex Discrimination

Telstra sued for sexual harassment and sex discrimination

Telstra is facing legal action after a former worker accused her boss of sexual harassment and sex discrimination.

The woman, who worked as a contractor, says her boss David Coli made inappropriate comments and sent her sexually charged messages.

Documents were lodged in the Federal Court after the parties failed to resolve the matter during a conciliation meeting in the Human Rights Commission.

According to the documents, the former contractor wants an apology from Mr Coli, as well as financial compensation for medical bills, lost wages, legal expenses and other damages.

Vigorously defend the allegations

A spokesperson for Mr Coli, who worked as general manager of strategic delivery until April 2018, said that he would vigorously defend the allegations in court.

“The allegations are unfounded and the legal proceeding is regrettably an attempt to be financially recompensed by a large company for loss of employment unrelated to the accused,” she said.

Telstra’s response

A spokesperson for Telstra told Fairfax that the company was committed to providing a work environment that was “supportive and inclusive.”

“We take allegations of harassment very seriously and take appropriate action to address issues raised,” he said.

Everyone has a right to a safe workplace

Industrial advocate James Vercoe from Sexual Harassment Claims said everyone has a right to a safe workplace.

“Sexual harassment can have a devastating effect on victims, and it can be incredibly hard for them to come forward and make a formal complaint,” he said.

“In most instances, cases of sexual harassment are settled during mediation sessions, long before they get to court, and usually involve an apology and the payment of some compensation.

“Those who are subjected to this sort of unlawful conduct should know that they don’t have to put up with it, and there is help available.”

James Vercoe is one of our specialist team at Sexual Harassment Claims who can assist people who have been subjected to sexual harassment or sex discrimination.


Update to Story

Mr Coli called Sexual Harassment Claims on Saturday 19 January 2018 and said that he had commenced a separate claim in the Federal Court against the woman who is suing Telstra.

He was asked to comment further, but declined.

A full list of parties can be found here in the public domain.


If you have experienced sexual harassment or sex discrimination, you may be entitled to compensation.

For help and advice, please call our specialist team at Sexual Harassment Claims on 

1300 463 866

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