Workmates put drugs in my car $345,000 claim for making work life 'hell'

FORMER manager Rochelle Yvette Jupp is suing Rockhampton Regional Council for $345,000, claiming a small number of staff went out of their way to make her life hell.

Her allegations include, among other things, someone conspiring to plant drugs in her vehicle for the authorities to find.

The former ranger services manager at Fitzroy Shire Council lodged a claim last week in the Supreme Court, Rockhampton, alleging her employer failed to protect her against the abuse and provide a safe workplace.

Outlining the level of degradation, she claims in the court document that between March 2005 and February 2006, she was subjected from fellow employees to open hostility, disrespect, disregard of her leadership, denigration to members of the public, false late-night call-outs, a conspiracy to sabotage a presentation she was to make, and a conspiracy to place illegal drugs in her vehicle that would be discovered by authorities.

She also said workers stared at her in an intimidating manner in a way she perceived as sexually harassing.

These all combined to cause her to suffer an adjustment disorder and anxiety which developed into a major depressive disorder.

Ms Jupp claims council ignored her pleas for help.

They failed “to provide any adequate response to complaints by the plaintiff from time to time of difficulties encountered in carrying out her duties”.

It was also alleged council failed on her appointment to devise and implement an adequate management change program when it should have been known staff were unprepared to support her.

Her claim says she has been unable to return to her former employer as a manager or continue in her chosen field of employment, in which she holds university level qualifications.

The $345,428.65 claim includes $200,000 for future economic loss and $60,000 for pain and suffering.

A representative of Ms Jupp's legal firm, Hall Payne Lawyers, yesterday declined to comment further on the matter.

A spokesperson for Rockhampton Regional Council said council could not provide comment on this particular case as the matter was before the court.

“Council continues to honour its commitment to providing a zero harm workplace and, in recognition of this practice there is a zero tolerance for bullying within the workplace,” the spokesperson said.

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