When valuable senior employees resign, carrying with them all their accumulated knowledge and experience with the company, employers may find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place. How best to protect the company’s interests is a vital question which arises.
The Full Federal Court has recently considered whether an agency contractor for Tattsbet Limited was an employee or an independent contractor, finding that a multi factor test must be undertaken to determine the true status of the agent.
The Federal Court of Australia has dismissed a former lecturer’s claims of unlawful sex and pregnancy discrimination after failing to join four academics in the claim, concluding that the proceedings constituted an abuse of process.
The Fair Work Commission has found that spreading misinformation or ill-will against others and criticising or gossiping about employees of neighbouring businesses constitutes workplace bullying if its occurs repetitively. In addition, this case demonstrates that bullying doesn’t have to be carried out by fellow employees but could be carried out by anyone an employee comes into contact with at work.
The Federal Circuit court refused to strike out a claim made an employee, who claims to have been terminated for complaining about company’s potential breaches of the corporations act. In doing so, the court offered a broad interpretation of the meanings of ‘workplace right’ and ‘political opinion’ in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
A court has held that provision of a company car, mobile phone and iPad could be included in an applicaiton of the 'high income threshold' for protection against unfair dismissal.
Annual leave: Centennial Northern Mining Services Pty Ltd v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union  FCAFC 100
The Full Court of the Federal Court has confirmed an earlier decision, finding that annual leave is to be paid out at termination at the same rate the employee would have received had they taken it whilst they were still employed.
A former senior lecturer and professor of Monash University, has been ordered to pay $900K in indemnity costs, after “unreasonably” rejecting a settlement offer.
The Federal Circuit Court has awarded an employee almost $170,000 in unpaid wages and redundancy pay after his employer applied a workplace policy that made parental leave available only to a ‘primary care giver’, finding that the policy was contrary to the National Employment Standards. .
The Federal Court has found that it was “glaringly improbable” that an employer was aware that a locomotive driver was suffering from a psychological condition after being informed that he felt violently ill when required to undertake a competency test.
Ms Moore filed an underpayment application against her employer. Shortly after she was terminated, with the employer saying it was a result of a ‘slowdown in business’. This case illustrates the court’s willingness to support an employee’s adverse action claim in circumstances where they are singled out for termination of employment, provided there is a link between their dismissal and their exercise of a workplace right.
The recent case of Bayford v MAXXIA Pty Ltd  GMCA 202 demonstrates the broad application of the adverse action provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 and the importance of employers documenting their reasons for any disciplinary action.
Adverse action claims under the Fair Work Act 2009 are becoming increasingly popular. Recent authorities have demonstrated that it is important that employers are able to demonstrate the reasons behind any potential adverse action taken against employees and to show that there is not a causal connection between that action and the employee’s workplace right.
Annual leave: Centennial Northern Mining Services Pty Ltd v CFMEU and the Fair Work Commission (No 2)  FCA 136
The Federal Court has found that when an employee’s employment is terminated, their accrued annual leave must be paid out at the same rate they would have received had they taken it whilst still employed.
This matter concerned an application pursuant to s185 of the Fair Work Act 2009 to determine whether an enterprise agreement by Goodstart Early Learning Limited was consistent with the National Employment Standards (NES). The issue at hand was whether employers are required to pay leave loading for annual leave upon termination of an employee.
Recently, much attention has been drawn to the issue of file sharing and copyright infringement. Legislation has been suggested in many places that targets “pirates” who illegally download and share multimedia such as music and films.
This gives rise to the question - Who is legally responsible for what an employee downloads or shares using a work computer, internet connection or other hardware?
A company which mistakenly paid its national operations manager a $27,000 severance payment, believing it was require do so under an award, has failed in its attempt to recoup the money.
It has been estimated that one in thirty people, both male and female, is a bully. Whilst the term “bully” can cover a number of different personality disorders, there are a number of behavioural traits which are said to be common to the workplace bully. As well as looking at these behaviour traits, we will also discuss whether there are ways to avoid recruiting bullies into your organization.
There has been much talk about the particular challenges that Generation Y employees bring to the workplace. Gen Y – the 4.5 million Australians born between 1978 and 1994 - is the second largest Australian generation and already constitute a significant force in the workplace.
General Employment: Misleading and deceptive conduct by employer in not disclosing their true financial position to prospective employee
A recent decision of the Federal Court has highlighted the need for employers to use caution when making representations to prospective employees.
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