New Zealand sex worker wins six-figure payout in sexual harassment case

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A sex worker in New Zealand has won a sexual harassment case against a business owner, including a six-figure settlement to compensate for "emotional harm and lost earnings", the country’s human rights commission has said.

Human Rights Proceedings represented the sex worker at the centre of the case and director Michael Timmins noted the importance of the ruling, stating: “All workers, regardless of the type of work they do, have the right to freedom from sexual harassment in the workplace. We encourage all business owners and employers to ensure that they understand and respect those rights." 

The BBC reported on the case and spoke with Dame Catherine Healy, national coordinator of NSWP member the New Zealand Sex Workers Collective.

"It's great to see a settlement of this type has been awarded in the context of sex work to a sex worker," Dame Catherine Healy, national coordinator of the New Zealand Sex Workers Collective, told the BBC.

"It takes courage to stand up in the workplace, any workplace," she added, saying it was a "wake-up call" for businesses.