A sexual discrimination claim has been filed against Sydney water over this poster featuring a long-term female employee.
A sexual discrimination claim has been filed against Sydney water over this poster featuring a long-term female employee.

Safe work ad left her humiliated

A SEXUAL discrimination claim has been filed against Sydney Water by an employee whose image was used on a workplace safety poster under the slogan, "Feel great - lubricate!”.

Reem Yelda, 39, had worked for Sydney Water for 12 years when she agreed to have her photo taken for the company's Safe Spine campaign last year.

The poster was not shown to Ms Yelda before copies were placed in Sydney Water depots and she felt humiliated when colleagues began contacting her.

The phrase "Kick off your SafeStarts by 'warming up the joints'" was also printed on the posters beneath her photo.

Ms Yelda said she went into shock when she first heard about the posters.

"It is a very male-dominated workplace and I felt like I had been turned into the punchline of a dirty joke,” Ms Yelda said.

Her lawyer, Aron Neilson from Slater and Gordon, said it was unbelievable someone could fail to see the harmful sexual connotations.

"Ms Yelda agreed to be part of this campaign because she wanted to help create a safe work environment," Mr Neilson said.

"She trusted this would be respectfully handled, but instead, she became the laughing stock of her workplace.

"By continuing to deny the clear sexual implications of the poster, Sydney Water and Vitality Works are adding insult to injury and creating a culture that discourages workers from speaking out.

"Sexual harassment has a demoralising impact on employees. It should not be swept under the rug and it should never be tolerated in a modern work environment."



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