By James Atkinson
A Sydney pub operated by the De Angelis family has beaten workplace relations proceedings taken by a former employee who alleged she was forced to resign after receiving a humiliating insult from one of her employers.
According to Fair Work Australia documents obtained by TheShout, the woman, who was licensee of the Hotel Ingleburn in Sydney's south-west, tendered her resignation in November last year following a "highly offensive inappropriate remark" made by Phillip De Angelis.
In an altercation over a broken ATM machine, she alleged De Angelis told her to "shut the f-ck up, you stupid f-cking sl-t".
Hotel supervisor Peter De Angelis called the woman the following day to apologise for his brother's behaviour and suggested the three of them meet to discuss the incident the following week – an invitation which she accepted.
But while Phillip De Angelis did apologise to the woman upon her return to the workplace on Monday, there was no such meeting.
She then claimed she had "no choice" but to stand by her resignation, which she confirmed in writing.
Fair Work Australia Commissioner Alistair MacDonald said the evidence given by the licensee regarding the incident was not in dispute.
"The [woman] reacted adversely to this highly offensive insult – she was shaking in anger, she had been insulted and she had been humiliated in front of others," Commissioner MacDonald said.
"She raced out to her car because she was crying and did not want anyone else to see how humiliated she was."
"As she was leaving in the car, she nearly smashed her car because she was upset and angry."
But Commissioner MacDonald nonetheless dismissed the proceedings. He said the woman needed to put an ultimatum to the publicans in order to sustain her claim that she had been given "no choice but to resign".
"[Her] response to the offer of an apology to be given on the Monday should have been along the lines of unless and until the perpetrator gives me an apology (and sincerely) beforehand, then I will not return to the worksite," he said.
"If the apology had not been given beforehand, then [she] would have been in a better position to argue she had no choice but to resign."
Hotel supervisor Peter De Angelis did not respond to a request for comment.