Lorna Jane fat shaming not a ‘huge issue’

Lorna jane century city 3Fat shaming wasn’t the “huge issue” for a former Lorna Jane manager who is suing for $550,000 over allegations she was bullied over her weight.

Amy Robinson didn’t raise the allegations in a 12-page letter she wrote to the gymwear brand’s Queensland manager in October 2012, but has repeatedly told the Brisbane District Court she has suffered psychiatric injuries after being belittled over her appearance.

She also says she was forced to do unfair hours by her area supervisor.

But when taken through documents showing her overtime, including 23 occasions Ms Robinson finished just one to six minutes late, Judge Gregory Koppenol asked “are you seriously complaining about working an extra minute”.

“I would sign out at that time but that would not be the time I finished my duties and leave the store,” she said.

The 41-year-old single mother was facing her third day of intense grilling on Thursday as she seeks damages and compensation.

She has claimed she has been unable to work since she was bullied over her weight and had unreasonable shift times and had to complete tasks which left her injured.

She has repeatedly clashed with Lorna Jane’s barrister Rebecca Treston QC.

On Thursday, the court heard Ms Robinson had emailed the Queensland manager a long complaint about shift times and work life balance.

But, in the 12-page complaint, written after she was told to front a disciplinary meeting, there was no mention of allegations her area manager Megan McCarthy had bullied her over her weight.

“It wasn’t the huge issue,” said Ms Robinson, who worked for Lorna Jane at the Brisbane airport DFO from July to December 2012.

During several days of evidence, including hours of tense cross-examination, the court has heard allegations Ms McCarthy had questioned whether the 41-year-old should eat certain food and picked on her because of her weight.

However, Lorna Jane has strongly denied the claims.

“Ms McCarthy never suggested you shouldn’t eat your lunch, that you should drink coffee,” Treston put to Ms Robinson.

“It happened,” Ms Robinson shot back.

“Ms McCarthy, in fact, did not comment on your weight in any negative way to you at all during the time you were at Lorna Jane,” Treston continued.

“I disagree,” Ms Robinson replied.

She has become emotional several times while giving evidence and continues to be questioned.

“I am trying to stop workplace bullying in Australia, ” she said.

The company is fighting the claims.

The hearing continues.

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