The 29-year-old claims he was fired by the Ipswich council after he put in a complaint over bullying and harassment. He claims he was called a “dirty fag”.
The 29-year-old claims he was fired by the Ipswich council after he put in a complaint over bullying and harassment. He claims he was called a “dirty fag”.

Cleaner claims he was sacked over bullying complaint

A CLEANER who was sacked by Ipswich City Council claims he was fired because he reported bullying and harassment he was allegedly subjected to by fellow staff because of his sexual orientation.

James Fuller started as a causal cleaner for the council in October but was let go on April 9.

Mr Fuller said he was told by the council at a meeting that he was no longer required, just a few days after he had put in a complaint to human resources.

James Fuller.
James Fuller.

Mr Fuller claims since he started working at the council he was subjected to harassment and bullying by other staff members and at one point was called a "dirty fag".

He says he has now filed an unfair dismissal case with the Fair Work Commission.

Mr Fuller says all he wants is his job back.

The 29-year-old claims he had been reprimanded by bosses for muddy footprints and finger marks on a glass door being left at the Ipswich Art Gallery hours after he had cleaned it at the end of March.

He claims the council provided no evidence of this and it was used to justify his firing.

LOCAL NEWS: Emergency services rush to gas leak at shopping centre

Mr Fuller said another staff member who overheard him being called a "dirty fag" also put in a complaint over the incident.

"I do my job to the highest standard," he said.

"I've got about 20 emails from all the buildings that I cleaned which stated what a great cleaner I am.

"I said you're dismissing me over a fingerprint that was on a glass door ... three-and-a-half hours after the building opened to the public.

"They did a code of conduct training and bullying and harassment training after I put that complaint in.

"I just want what's right and that's to come and do my job and not be bullied. I was victimised and had things thrown at me."

A letter to Mr Fuller on April 12 from a council officer stated the matters had been investigated.

"I have now had the opportunity to review the matters you've referred to in your letter relating to your employment such as your complaint regarding bullying and harassment, the subsequent investigation and outcome, and the performance concerns that were raised with you," it reads.

READ MORE: Breaking barriers to fulfil dream job in the skies

"I have also reviewed the termination of your casual employment on 9 April 2021.

"After review and consideration of these matters, I can confirm that it is the view of council that the complaint you raised whilst employed was investigated thoroughly, and the termination of your casual employment was managed appropriately and in accordance with council practices for these matters.

"I note that you were paid all entitlements for your rostered shifts effective to 16th April 2021 in good faith.

"I wish you all the best for your future endeavours."

A council spokesman said it could not comment on the matter.

"While council always seeks to be transparent, this is an ongoing legal matter and it would not be appropriate for council to make comment at this stage," he said.

DON'T MISS IT: Activate your free bonus for big rewards

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.