Business News Labels & Publishers Legal

Dozens of former Sony Music Australia employees have approached law firm about possible class action

By | Published on Wednesday 14 July 2021

Sony Music

The Sydney law firm that previously revealed it was considering a class action on behalf of former employees at Sony Music Australia says that it has now been approached by more than 40 ex-staffers from the major’s Australian division.

The potential legal action follows the sudden departure last month of the long-time chief of Sony Music Australia, Denis Handlin. His exiting came amid a Guardian exposĂ© of and internal investigation into claims of a toxic corporate culture at Sony’s Australian business.

The Guardian report was based on interviews with more than 20 former employees at Sony Music in Australia and included allegations of sexual harassment at work events, intimidating behaviour, alcohol abuse and the unfair treatment of women in the workplace. Handlin himself was not accused of harassment, however many of the interviewees were critical of the outgoing CEO for overseeing such a toxic working environment.

Shortly after all that happened, Lauren MacDougall from law firm MacDougall And Hydes told local media that she had been approached by multiple former Sony Music employees, some seeking representation in the major’s own investigation into the allegations about its Australian operations, and some considering legal action against their one time employer

MacDougall said at the time: “I have been approached by a number of women who were seeking legal advice in relation to claims of bullying and harassment during their time at Sony Music Australia. I would encourage any other women or men to come forward. Depending on how many people come forward and what they have to say there is the potential of a class action”.

In a new conversation with The Guardian, MacDougall confirms that she has now been approached by dozens of people – women and men – who used to work for Sony in a wide range of different roles. That said, she is still assessing what possible legal action could be pursued.

She told the newspaper: “Class actions are not straightforward, and a decision to institute one depends on many factors. The first step is to speak to the individuals to ascertain what their complaint is and what their expectations are. At this time, it is simply far too soon to confirm the position”.