Truth be told, legal actions in the adult services industry are fairly common. Tabloids, online news websites, and even respected newspapers are teeming with litigations involving customers and/or brothels. For instance, a sex worker in New Zealand sued a brothel owner for sexual harassment. She won the case and received $21,000 for indemnities. Proprietors of bordellos can also bring charges against their patrons and employees. For example, Daily Mail Online reported that a brothel manager filed charges against an escort for hitting him. As per the news report, the escort snapped when the manager declined to give her long hours on her shift. These stories are typical scenarios in the four corners of a bawdy house. However, it is rare to hear (or see) that a billionaire sues a brothel. A bizarre compensation story like this is far more interesting than a brothel suing Khloe Kardashian.
A Billionaire Sues a Brothel: Bizarre Compensation Story
Sydney has many upmarket brothels due to prostitution being legal. Because of this, locals and foreigners frequent exclusive bordellos in the city. The reputation of Sydney’s brothels even reached Asia and the Americas. With the promise of steamy and fulfilling sexual encounters, Yu “Martin” Xu, a Chinese billionaire, tried the sexual services of Royal Court, which is a Sydney-based escort agency.
As per their website, the Royal Court claims to offer sexual services from local and international celebrities anywhere you are in the world. On the part of Xu, he agreed to pay extra for the airfare and accommodation of these celebrities so that they could meet him in China. Moreover, he paid $27,000 for the joining fee, and made four bank transfers totaling to $3.7 million.
Although there is no concrete evidence that these celebrities are engaged in the sex trade, agents from the escort company approached Xu and promised a one-night stand with these women. Based on the documents filed in the NSW Supreme Court, Xu wants to recover the money he paid to the agency and is suing the company for “breach of contract, unjust enrichment, and misleading and deceptive conduct.”
It is still an unfortunate fact that some employers will take advantage of vulnerable workers in their employ. It may be business owners exploiting newly arrived migrants or refugees, by not informing these people of their rights under Australian Government laws. Even more despicable, are the employers who exploit disabled workers in their employ, with under paying of wages and not providing adequate support and workplace conditions. Some businesses think that just giving disabled workers a job is enough and that they do not consider them deserving of a proper wage.
Standing Up for the Rights of Disabled Workers
Businesses that work in the charity sector have, unfortunately, been the worst offenders in this regard and they employ more disabled workers than any other sector. Australian Disability Enterprises (ADE) pays some of their intellectually disabled workers less than $2 per hour to pack boxes in their sheltered workshops. They manage to get away with this appalling rate of pay by basing their remuneration on productivity via the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT). One wonder whether our legalised treatment of those with intellectual disabilities actually belongs back in the eighteenth century.
Probono legal service groups are beginning to challenge some of the worst economic mistreatment of disabled workers, but the Australian Government needs to close these loopholes. The dignity of work is one thing, but if you are being woefully exploited, so that in addition to full time work you require welfare payments just to survive, something is wrong. I remember delivering charity ribbons to letter boxes for an Anglican charity many years ago, when I was down on my luck. This kind of position is filled by many disabled people. I worked out that I was earning about $3 an hour.
Reasonable rates of pay must be afforded to disabled workers. When a disabled person purchases a product or buys a cup of coffee, they do not get a reduced price. So, why should they be made to suffer at the production end of the equation? Compassion does not mean it is OK to pay peanuts to vulnerable people. Compassion is of a higher order altogether. With technology achieving so many things in workplaces, it surely must be possible to invest some friendly computerised technology into these charitable industries, which employ so many people with disabilities. Let’s get out of the dark ages and smarten up, compassionately. There are wonderful organisations who support disabled people and their families in Sydney and throughout Australia. The disability service provider in South West Sydney is helping many vulnerable people meet and overcome some of the pressing challenges in their lives. We need more organisations like this and greater government funding in this sector, not less. Did you hear that Malcolm Turnbull?
It is difficult when you have sustained an injury from your work, be it physical or psychological, to have the strength and motivation to fight for what you believe is your right to legal compensation.
Time and time again I have heard of friends who have been so traumatised by their employment, bullying by their colleagues or the oppressive behaviour of their management, that the only remedy they have sought is to remove themselves from the employment. In short to walk away and not even contemplate embarking upon a process of seeking comcare claims, or securing the services of a compensation lawyer.
What is important to remember, is that you do have some time to lodge your comcare claim. For this reason, we advise that you seek out the services of compensation lawyers who understand comcare claims and are able to provide you with independent advice on the law and determine whether or not you have a case for workplace compensation.
Legal Aid Western Australia provides some very sound advice and guidance, and while noting that generally you have 12 months from the time you notice your injury or illness that:
“Different time limits will apply depending when your cause of action arose. It is vital if you believe that your disability was the result of your employer’s negligence that you get legal advice at the earliest opportunity.”
If you are a member of union, you may be able to get support and guidance in securing a workers compensation lawyer. The Public Service Association for example has a number of resources which include horror stories of injuries sustained by their members at work. Sometimes even reading the journeys that others have gone through in securing a comcare claim, finding a compensation lawyer or personal injury lawyer or securing compensation can assist you in deciding on the approach you are going to take to get justice under the law.
If you are fortunate and you have a friend of the family who is a claims lawyer or compensation lawyer, we also advise speaking with them so that if you choose to use our services you feel entirely comfortable, knowing that what happened to you at work needs to be addressed and that our compensation lawyers are the appropriate professionals to assist you through this difficult process.