Finance giant faces yet another court case from an ex-employee for alleged workplace trauma. Here’s the rundown.
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IOOF Holdings Limited (ASX: IFL) has another legal battle looming with its own staff, after a former executive accused it of sacking her after it was informed she had a mental illness.
Ex-head of communications Dr Jane Rennie has claimed in court documents that the company dismissed her after she expressed a need to take personal leave or submit a WorkCover claim as a result of work stress, as first reported in the Australian Financial Review.
Rennie claims the company told her she would be redeployed, but she was made redundant less than a week after she reported her situation.
IOOF had not responded to requests for comment from The Motley Fool at the time of writing.
The finance company also allegedly didn’t consider her for any alternative positions after the redundancy, even though Rennie thought it was a “redeployment period”.
The former executive is requesting IOOF be ordered to return her to the job, plus reparations for loss of work, reputation damage and trauma.
IOOF has reportedly submitted in court papers that the redundancy was due to a corporate restructure.
It also denies that Rennie had flagged she needed to take leave or apply for worker’s compensation. The company claims Rennie declined an offer to take personal leave.
The IOOF share price is up 1.50% on Tuesday afternoon, trading at $3.72.
IOOF’s culture in the spotlight
The serious allegations come just days after 2 male executives were accused of sexual harassment and discrimination.
In a separate court case, deputy chief investment officer Stanley Yeo was accused of inappropriate touching and remarks towards a female staffer.
Among many instances listed in legal documents, Yeo is alleged to have touched the woman’s breasts at her own wedding in front of family and friends.
The same woman accuses head of fixed interest assets Osvaldo Acosta of discrimination on the basis of gender.
When the alleged victim offered her input on a work matter, Acosta is accused of saying “You always give your opinion. Not only do I have a wife at home, I have you here in the office”.
The woman is asking the court to order IOOF to compensate her for loss of opportunity and loss of future income, plus provide damages for humiliation and distress.
The IOOF scandals come after fellow finance giant AMP Ltd (ASX: AMP) had a shocking 2020 dealing with the fallout from its promotion of Boe Pahari to CEO of AMP Capital.
After details of serious sexual harassment allegations against Pahari became public, the company came under pressure from shareholders to reverse his plum appointment.
An investor campaign eventually forced two directors to fall on their sword and Pahari was returned to his old position.
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Motley Fool contributor Tony Yoo owns shares of IOOF Holdings Limited. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.