Recent Cases

Bullying: Ms Nadia Page [2015] FWC 5955

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. 

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General Protections: Henry v Leighton Admin Services Pty Ltd & Anor [2015] FCCA 1923

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).

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Adverse Action: Moore v Slondia Nominees Pty Ltd [2012] FMCA 273

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.

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Adverse Action: LHMU v Arnotts Biscuits Limited

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.

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General Employment: Goodstart Early Learning Enterprise Agreement [2012] FWA 2408

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.

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File sharing and copyright infringement in the work place

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?

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Identifying a Workplace Bully

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.

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Tips for managing Generation Y employees

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.

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