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



Developers boost confidence in Bundaberg property market

Slow and steady growth has always been Bundaberg’s way

Nine males, one female; divers watch turtles get frisky

Mating season ends this month.

One female, nine males, this is all part of nature for turtles

Champ visits hospital

NAVY BEARS: Kalanie Johnson with Kel Treseder.

Kel puts smiles on faces

Local Partners

What's on the small screen this week

Jessica Marais in a scene from the TV series The Wrong Girl.

A NEW romantic comedy debuts while footy codes ramp up for finals.

Airbourne talk drop bears, beer and taxes

Airbourne have a new album coming out and a new tour on the way.  Photo Contributed

Airbourne release album for the aussie battler

Pippa Middleton had 3000 private photos stolen

Author Pippa Middleton

Author's account hacked to access 3000 private photos

Gruen star discovers the body's limits in new hit TV show

Todd Sampson tries out MMA fighting during TV series BodyHack.

Gruen star pushes the limits in new TV series

Deftones return to Australia with string of dates

Deftones are back in town. Photo Contributed

World renowned nu-metal pioneers return

How the Gruen guy's t-shirts took on a life of their own

Documentary filmmaker and Gruen panellist Todd Sampson.

What started out as simple workwear has become a trademark

Developers boost confidence in Bundaberg property market

Slow and steady growth has always been Bundaberg’s way

Property 200m from ocean selling for just over $100K

BEACHCOMBER PARK: Work has started on a new $19.2 million development at Toogoom.

The estate's developer is offering huge discounts for early buyers.

UPDATE: Former rodeo champ's sale rained out, now back on

Larkhill local Ken Consiglio is having an auction of most of the things on his property.

'People kept showing up and we had to turn them away'

First stages of $25 million housing development underway

New development on Madsen Rd - The Springs.

The blocks of land are much bigger than usual

Couple build their own 'tiny house' for $45k

Holly Bowen and Oli Bucher built their "tiny house" themselves, only hiring a plumber and an electrician. Photo/supplied

The house, which is built on a trailer and can be towed.

Rocky proves prime real estate in latest REIQ report

Kas Woch sold this Wood St home in Depot Hill for $107,000 in August.

A new investor's market as Rocky house prices hit lowest in state