An Australian Tax Office employee is seeking worker's compensation after being punched by a workmate during a squabble over a cup of coffee.
Michael Rasler and fellow ATO worker Dieter Tietz were at a Canberra café with four colleagues in December 2009 when a dispute broke out over a mug of black coffee, the Canberra Times reports.
Mr Rasler grabbed the hot drink but was confronted by Mr Tietz who claimed to have ordered first, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal heard.
Mr Rasler reportedly stuck his fingers in the drink and flicked it at Mr Tietz, who retaliated by punching him in the arm.
The public servant claims he suffered physical and psychological damage in the incident and was bullied by Mr Tietsz.
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has rejected the compensation claim because at the time of the squabble the pair resumed conversation and continued sitting at the table together.
However, Mr Rasler was found to have suffered a psychological ailment based on the perception he was being bullied and the compensation case has now been referred to Comcare.