News

Sacked 'over epilepsy'

Samantha Bawden says she has been sacked from her job at the White China restaurant because she has epilepsy.
Samantha Bawden says she has been sacked from her job at the White China restaurant because she has epilepsy. Max Fleet

A TEENAGE waitress who suffers from epilepsy claims the operators of a popular Bundaberg restaurant sacked her after a few shifts because of her condition.

Samantha Bawden, 19, also claims she was paid only $20 for the three shifts she worked at White China, at the Brothers Sports Club.

But one of the co-owners of the restaurant said Ms Bawden had never been employed there, and had only completed a couple of hours of a trial shift.

Ms Bawden said when she had her initial interview for the waiting job at the restaurant, she mentioned that she had epilepsy but said it was under control.

The teenager, who had worked as a waitress in Mackay before moving back to Bundaberg, said she worked her first shift on May 14 from 11am-1.30pm as a trial.

She said she was then called back in for another shift on May 15, and again on May 17.

During her last shift, someone she identified as "Marie", one of the owners of White China, pulled her aside to have a talk with her about her epilepsy.

"I told her that if I get too stressed out I can have fits, but if I call my Mum it calms me down, so I won't have a fit," she said.

Ms Bawden said she was ordered to go home.

"She said, 'I don't want you falling on my ground'," she said.

"I thought I did the right thing by telling her and I end up getting fired for it."

Ms Bawden said she was despondent at losing a job because of her epilepsy.

"All my life I've been told I can't do things because I have epilepsy and now this is something else I'm told I can't do," she said.

"I was looking forward to working and supporting myself because I can't live off Mum and Dad for my whole life.

"There aren't many jobs in Bundaberg."

One of the co-owners of White China, who would only identify himself as Peter, told the NewsMail Ms Bawden had never been employed there.

He said she had only worked one shift of two or three hours and then had told a fellow staff member she was unwell and had to leave.

Peter said he was too busy to answer any more questions and hung up.

Topics:  epilepsy sacked unfair dismissal



How to survive a bushfire in your car

IT SOUNDS like a nightmare, but it can happen.

Eight reasons to join the RFS

SPREAD across 93% of Queensland, the Rural Fire Service has about 36,000 volunteers. And you could be one of them.

What if my insurer gives me grief?

CLAIMING your insurance cover after a natural disaster can go one of two ways. It can be a breeze, or like pulling teeth.

New funding improves North Burnett disaster radio

FILE PHOTO: The council has received funding for a new digital radio system.

The council has received about $200,000 for the system.

Council signals more land rights agreements on the way

Bundaberg Regional Council mayor Jack Dempsey, Gladstone Regional Council mayor Matt Burnett and North Burnett mayor Rachel Chambers sign a land use agreement with the Port Curtis Coral Coast People.

This follows a historic signing last week.

Security guard punched outside the Club Hotel

OPERATION JABBAH: Police restrain a man outside the Club Hotel in May during a police operation.

Police call on revellers to drink responsibly

Local Partners

Rob's off to start a fresh new chapter

AFTER more than three decades delivering fruit and vegies to loyal customers across Bundaberg, Robert Ward is packing up his ute and retiring.


Kernaghan's a 'boy from the bush' with a timeless quality

Country music singer Lee Kernaghan.

Lee Kernaghan is celebrating the 25th year of his breakthrough song.

What's on: Saturday, December 3

Not sure what to do today? We've got you covered

Head to the sugar museum for a sweet taste of history

Cutting the ribbon to officially open the revamped Sugar Museum at Fairymead House is Mayor Jack Dempsey and Fairymead House Team Leader Hayley Vale.

Learn about the industry that made Bundy what it is

EXCLUSIVE: Meet Robert Irwin, wildlife photographer

SNAPPER: Apart from wildlife, photography is Robert Irwin's great passion.

Steve's boy has a passion for photography

Louis Tomlinson's tribute to late mother

Louis Tomlinson's new single is a tribute to his late mother.

Justin Timberlake stuns students with secret class

Justin Timberlake stunned high school students in Sydney

Carrie Fisher says Ford will be bugged by affair confession

Carrie Fisher is sure Harrison Ford is annoyed at her

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with childhood sweetheart

Dakota Fanning rekindles romance with ex

Jennifer Lawrence apologises to the people of Hawaii

Jennifer Lawrence sorry for 'offensive' story

Essential to get new Maroochydore CBD fundamentals right

LOOKING AHEAD: The central business district at Maroochydore is planned to be the heart of the Sunshine Coast.

SunCentral reports good progress on 53ha Sunshine Coast city heart

'Crucial' farm land eyed by defence department

Lawson Geddes moving the Brangus cattle to higher ground - which is the land the Defence Department is interested taking for the Shoalwater Bay expansion.

"You can't have one without the other.”

Former Shark Show for sale for $1.3 million

Vic Hislop at the old Shark Show.

TALK about a jaws-dropping real estate opportunity.

There's a whole lot of luxury in this home

The Endeavour Foundation's latest prize home in Mountain Creek.

WHEN it comes to desirable homes, it's hard to go past a prize home.

Ipswich City Properties asset portfolio retains its value

Ipswich City Council Administration Building, South Street, Ipswich. Photo: Claudia Baxter / The Queensland Times

New website launched by Ipswich City Council

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!