Hostess seeks compensation over oral sex claims
A QANTAS flight attendant sent to Orange County Jail over "unsubstantiated" sexual assault allegations from a fellow hostie can now seek worker's compensation after having a case overturned in his favour.
Colin Harvey was asleep in his room at a hotel in Orange County, California, in the early morning of May 23, 2013, when Los Angeles police officers arrested him, handcuffed him and took him to a police station where they took DNA swabs.
Later that morning, he was transferred to Orange County Jail where he was placed in a holding cell with 20 to 30 prisoners. He was released the next day and returned to Australia.
Mr Harvey always maintained he did not put his penis in his colleague's mouth as she alleged.
Los Angeles police did not proceed with any charge against him and he was released unconditionally
An internal Qantas investigation found the sexual assault claims were unsubstantiated.
Mr Harvey provided evidence he felt intimidated, concerned for his safety and alienated as a result of these events.
The long-haul flight attendant sought workers' compensation for a psychiatric injury - including post-traumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder as a result of his arrest, incarceration and the sexual assault allegations.
That was refused and his appeal to the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission was also dismissed.
Both jurisdictions found the injury did not arise out of or in the course of Mr Harvey's employment with Qantas.
But the Industrial Court of Queensland disagreed, revoking the decision and accepting Mr Harvey's claim in a judgment published on Monday.
Mr Harvey finished work on a flight from Brisbane to LA on May 22.
He successfully argued he stayed at the Hilton Hotel until the scheduled return flight on the evening of May 23 because Qantas provided accommodation as part of his employment.
Industrial Court of Queensland President Glenn Martin found Mr Harvey was required to use the hotel room Qantas arranged for him.
"The 'requirement of connection between employment and injury' is provided by the fact that Qantas required (Mr Harvey) to be in that place and that he was, at the time his injury was first suffered, using the room for the purpose intended by the employer, namely, to rest or sleep before the return flight," he said.
The judgment details how Mr Harvey left the "crew room" at the hotel between 1-2am, having socialised with other flight attendants for some time in that room.
"During his journey back to his hotel room, (Mr Harvey) encountered (the woman), a fellow flight attendant and crew colleague, in a state of collapse," Justice Martin writes.
"(Mr Harvey) attended upon (the woman), who did not have her room key. After some time with (her), Mr Harvey went to the hotel reception to request a key for (the woman's) room, but he was advised a key to her room could not be given to him.
"Mr Harvey returned to his room where (the woman) had remained. (She) left Mr Harvey's room and he went to bed; whilst (the woman) ran to the reception in a very distressed state making allegations that Mr Harvey had indecently dealt with her and the Los Angeles police were notified of those allegations." - ARM NEWSDESK