INDUSTRIAL ACTION: UNION AND ITS OFFICALS REQUIRED TO PAY $277,000 IN PENALTIES
The Federal Court of Australia imposed pecuniary penalties totalling $277,000 against a union and its representatives following the implementation of unlawful blockades at a construction site.
Australian Building and Construction Commissioner v Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union (Perth Childrens’ Hospital Contraventions Case) (2017) 69 AILR ¶102-808;  FCA 491
UNFAIR DISMISSAL: TERMINATION HIGHLIGHTS AGREEMENT’S OUTDATED PROVISIONS
The Fair Work Commission has upheld the dismissal of an employee who used his work email to send abusive messages to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) but the decision has highlighted the governing enterprise agreement’s outdated provisions and need for change.
Stephen Hayes v Murdoch University (2017) 69 AILR ¶102-806;  FWC 2174
BULLYING: CONSIDERABLE CAUTION APPLIED AS FWC HANDS DOWN FIRST INTERIM ORDER IN BULLYING APPLICATION
The Fair Work Commission has handed down its first interim order preventing an employer from finalising an investigation into an employee’s alleged misconduct until such time as her bullying application has been considered.
Lynette Bayly (2017) 69 AILR ¶102-805;  FWC 1886
UNFAIR DISMISSAL: EMPLOYEE’S BREACH OF PROCEDURE DID NOT JUSTIFY DISMISSAL
The Fair Work Commission held that, although an employee failed to comply with a valid and lawful direction given by his employer, that did not justify his dismissal. As such, the employee was awarded compensation in lieu of reinstatement.
John Taylor v Qube Ports Pty Ltd T/A Qube Ports (2017) 69 AILR ¶102-804;  FWC 2238
TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT: EMPLOYEE NOT MADE REDUNDANT FOR EXERCISING WORKPLACE RIGHTS
The Federal Court of Australia dismissed an appeal from a decision of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia which held that an employee’s employment was terminated on the grounds of redundancy and not because he exercised a workplace right.
BREACH: ACCOUNTING FIRM ACCESSORILY LIABLE FOR RESTAURANT UNDERPAYMENT
The Federal Circuit Court of Australia found that an accounting firm should be held liable for the breaches of a modern award committed by its restaurant-client under s 550 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth).
INDUSTRIAL DISPUTE: FEDERAL COURT HOLDS UNION OFFICIAL IN CONTEMPT
The Federal Court of Australia held that a union branch secretary acted in contempt of court when he refused to allow a search team to enter his premises following the Court’s earlier grant of a search permit of his premises.
ADVERSE ACTION: WHITE COLLAR EMPLOYEE OFFERED MANUAL WORK ENTITLED TO REDUNDANCY
The Federal Circuit Court of Australia held that a white-collar employee who refused an alteration to his duties to perform manual labour was entitled to paid redundancy.
UNFAIR DISMISSAL: “INAPPROPRIATE” ASSISTANT AWARDED COMPENSATION
The New South Wales Industrial Relations Commission has upheld the dismissal of an employee who stored inappropriate and pornographic emails in a “funny” folder on her work computer but has awarded her compensation on the basis that her dismissal was harsh.
Bellenger v Mid North Coast Local Health District (2017) 69 AILR ¶200-582;  NSWIRComm 1019
COMMONWEALTH GAMES GRANTED EXEMPTION FROM ANTI DISCRIMINATION ACT
The Queensland Industrial Relations Commission granted the applicant, Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation, an exemption from provisions of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 (Qld) (ADA) allowing it to advertise for, recruit for, select, and employ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples as volunteers for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games.
Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Corporation (2017) 69 AILR ¶300-285;  QIRC 38
UNFAIR DISMISSAL: NO ERROR IN HOLDING THAT REINSTATEMENT WAS IMPRACTICIABLE
The Western Australian Court of Appeal unanimously held that the Full Bench of the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission had made no error of law in holding that it was not impracticable to reinstate an employee who had been unfairly dismissed.
The Australian Rail, Tram and Bus Industry Union of Employees, West Australian Branch v Public Transport Authority of Western Australia (2017) 69 AILR ¶400-237;  WASCA 86
The Australian Industrial Law Reports (AILR) summarise industrial cases from all Australian jurisdictions on a weekly basis with links to the full text judgment provided by Austlii. Existing online subscribers are able to link through to the above mentioned decisions in Intelliconnect using the link provided. For a free trial please click here.