Witness to back claim of harassment

TRUenergy's former chief financial officer agreed to resign after claims he had sexually harassed co-workers were partly proved, a court has heard.

TRUenergy's former chief financial officer agreed to resign after claims he had sexually harassed co-workers were partly proved, a court has heard.

Kevin Holmes denied rubbing his hands on the thigh and back of Kate Shea, the company's former head of corporate and government affairs, at a work function in Hong Kong in 2010.

Ms Shea is suing TRUenergy - now Energy Australia - in the Federal Court for unlawfully dismissing her after she complained about the incident and a culture of sexual harassment at the company.

Mr Holmes said that he resigned in 2011 after Ms Shea's allegations and the company's internal investigation of the incident found there had been no wrongdoing. "I was disappointed to be leaving, but the situation was just totally untenable."

Ms Shea also complained of four times she alleged Mr Holmes had sexually harassed co-workers, which he denied.

Her lawyer, Charles Gunst, QC, said that a then senior human resources officer, Linda Robertson, would testify that she found the complaints "to different degrees to be substantiated", which led to his resignation. "I suggest to you that you were asked to leave because these complaints against you were found to have been substantiated," Mr Gunst said.

Mr Holmes denied this, saying he and managing director Richard McIndoe had agreed he should leave. The case continues.

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