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Category Archives: Policies and Employee Handbooks

Mentor sexually harassed co-worker but employer not liable

The Northern Territory Anti-Discrimination Commission has recently handed down a decision that has a number of lessons for employers.  In this case, some of the conduct undertaken by the respondent employee was found to be sexual harassment of the complainant; some of the conduct was found to have no connection with the complainant’s employment; and…

Flagrant abuse of Employer’s travel policy justifies summary dismissal

An employee who claimed a blender, Australia Day t-shirt, boxer shorts and bathmats on his company credit card has had his unfair dismissal claim dismissed after he was summarily dismissed for breach the employer’s policy. The employer had a travel policy that provided that ‘reasonable, necessary and duly documented expenses’ incurred during a business trip…

Policies and process fails employer in unfair dismissal case

An employee, believed to have been intoxicated at work, has been successful in her unfair dismissal application which was heard by the FWC earlier this year. The incident that led to the dismissal of the employee centred on Melbourne Cup day in 2014.  The employee claimed that she had a 3 or 4 drinks in…

Formal ‘stop bullying’ order made by FWC

The Fair Work Commission has handed down a rare ‘stop bullying’ order after a formal finding that two employees had been bullied. The employees of a small real estate business each made an application for an order to stop bullying. The employees alleged bullying conduct by a particular Property Manager, who was subsequently relocated to…

Employees accused of theft reinstated by FWC

Three employees who were terminated after CCTV footage captured them finding and taking uniform items from an open cardboard box in their workplace have been reinstated by the Fair Work Commission. The employees were initially stood down by their employer pending an investigation into the conduct. During the investigation the employees were represented by their…

The beard goes, or you go

The Fair Work Commission has dismissed an underground truck driver’s unfair dismissal application after his employment was dismissed following his refusal to shave off his beard. The employee had been employed by a major mining operator for 6 years and had worn the goatee and moustache since he was 19 years old. His employment was…

Beer purchase costs manager his job

A manager who misused his company credit card to purchase two cartons of beer for a private work Christmas party has had his termination upheld by the FWC. Late last year, the manager requested that the plumbing department of the employer have their own company Christmas party. The request was declined, citing that the entire…

Incorporating policies into employment contract costs employer $3 million

An employer’s unwitting error in incorporating its policies, including a redundancy policy, into a Chief Executive’s employment contract resulted in a significant financial windfall for the redundant Chief Executive. Interestingly, the ‘Global Markets Head’ of the same business tried to establish a similar claim; however it was found that he was not made redundant, but…

Protecting your IP from former employees

In Leica Geosystems Pty Ltd v Koudstaal (No 3) [2014] FCA 1129, the Employer was part of a group of companies who sell software products and provide services to the mining sector.  The Employee was employed with the Employer for about 18 months before he resigned in November 2011.  Following his resignation, the Employee went…

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