Employer wins costs after baseless dismissal claim

Original article by Adam Zuchetti
mybusiness.com.au – Page: Online : 11-Sep-18

A woman who lost an unfair dismissal case against her former employer has subsequently been directed by the Fair Work Commission to pay their costs. Joan Obuchowski lost her claim against RNTT in May, with RNTT applying two weeks later for costs to be awarded in defending the case. In agreeing with RNTT’s application in the week beginning 10 September, FWC senior deputy president Jonathan Hamberger said Obuchowski must have known her case had "no reasonable grounds for success". Business groups note it is almost unheard of for employers to be awarded costs in such cases.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, RNTT, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF JOBS AND SMALL BUSINESS

Push to throw out baseless unfair dismissal claims

Original article by Joe Kelly, Ben Packham
The Australian – Page: 1 & 4 : 25-Jul-18

Changes to the Fair Work Commission’s procedures for dealing with unfair dismissal cases are among the recommendations of a review undertaken by ex-federal small business minister Bruce Billson. Amongst other things, he has recommended earlier intervention by the FWC to reject unfair dismissal claims against small businesses that are deemed to have no merit. Meanwhile, a new report from the Institute of Public Affairs shows that the number of people employed by small businesses in Australia has fallen by seven per cent over a decade.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY, AUSTRALIA. PRODUCTIVITY COMMISSION, CONCEPT WIRE INDUSTRIES

KPMG review into bungled census ‘compromised’, says whistleblower

Original article by David Marin-Guzman, Edmund Tadros
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 29-Jun-18

Harmers Workplace Lawyers is taking legal action against KPMG and three of its senior executives on behalf of former associate director James Eldridge. KPMG has been accused of taking adverse action against Eldridge; he was dismissed as a result of complaints he made about KPMG’s review of the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ IT systems following the flawed 2016 census. Eldridge is said to have told KPMG that he felt that the review was not accurate or independent. KPMG has denied his allegations, and has stated that his dismissal was for "appropriate reasons".

CORPORATES
KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, HARMERS WORKPLACE LAWYERS, AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS, DELOITTE TOUCHE TOHMATSU LIMITED, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET

‘Show them your tits’: Fair Work upholds sacking of car manager

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 8 : 24-Jan-18

The full bench of the Fair Work Commission has dismissed an appeal by the former business manager of a Queensland car dealership. Phillip Parker had been dismissed by Cricks Volkswagen for sexual harassment after a female employee alleged that he had made inappropriate comments to her. Parker appealed against the original ruling, citing it as an example of "male inequality".

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, CRICKS VOLKSWAGEN

ANZ fires staff over harassment

Original article by James Frost
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 18 : 30-Nov-17

The ANZ Bank has dismissed one of its overseas employees after he had sexually harassed a female employee from another bank. The incident occurred outside of work hours. His dismissal was reported to staff in an email from ANZ’s Kathryn van der Merwe; the same email also noted that other staff had been sacked for using illicit drugs at a work-connected event. Van der Merwe stressed in the email that ANZ staff could be dismissed for illegal activities, even if they occurred outside of work time.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED – ASX ANZ

Sexting with manager not harassment but baker loses job

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 23-Nov-17

The Fair Work Commission has dismissed an unfair dismissal claim made against Coles by one of its bakers. The supermarket operator had sacked Jay Higgins after his manager had complained about sexually explicit pictures that Higgins had sent to him. Coles dismissed him on the grounds of sexual harassment and serious misconduct. The Commission found that sending the pictures did not amount to sexual harassment, but that Higgins had breached Coles’ codes of conduct in regard to respect and dignity.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, COLES SUPERMARKETS AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Union boss ousted over $98,000 in super board fees

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 22-Nov-17

Richard Duffy, the secretary of the Australian Services Union’s Victorian division, has been dismissed by its committee of management. This followed an external investigation that found he had retained $A98,000 in fees paid to him for sitting on the board of Vision Super since 2014 without appropriate authorisation. The investigation also found he had engaged Advanced People Property Management Solutions to undertake maintenance work at the ASU’s offices, for which it was paid $A48,000, without disclosing to the ASU that it was owned by a relative of former ASU secretary Brian Parkinson.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIAN SERVICES UNION, VISION SUPER PTY LTD, ADVANCED PEOPLE PROPERTY MANAGEMENT SOLUTIONS, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, FEDERAL COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Abuse ruling faces challenge from South32

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 9-Nov-17

South32 will appeal against the Fair Work Commission’s ruling that the sacking of a Construction, Forestry, Mining & Energy Union official constituted unfair dismissal. South32 was ordered to reinstate Matthew Gosek after the FWC found that the offensive language which prompted Gosek’s dismissal is widely used in society. However, Macquarie Group director Patricia Cross has described the ruling as "shameful". The issue of offensive language in the workplace has also come under scrutiny in the case against Westpac over the alleged manipulation of the bank bill swap rate.

CORPORATES
SOUTH32 LIMITED – ASX S32, AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION, MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED – ASX MQG, WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – ASX WBC, HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS PTY LTD, DIVERSITY COUNCIL AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Coalmine is not a convent when talking abuse

Original article by David Marin-Guzman
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 7-Nov-17

The Fair Work Commission has upheld an unfair dismissal claim against mining company South32. The company had dismissed Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union delegate Matthew Gosek as a result of his use of abusive language and physical threats against eight co-workers. In upholding Gosek’s challenge against his dismissal, FWC Commissioner Bernie Riordan noted Gosek had been affected by a combination of alcohol and anti-depressants at the time, and that bad language was commonplace in the workplace. Industrial relations lawyer Stuart Wood says the FWC’s decision could be seen as condoning union bullying.

CORPORATES
AUSTRALIA. FAIR WORK COMMISSION,SOUTH32 LIMITED – ASX S32,ILLAWARRA COAL PTY LTD,GLENCORE AUSTRALIA PTY LTD,CONSTRUCTION, FORESTRY, MINING AND ENERGY UNION OF AUSTRALIA

Seven tries to gag reporter’s critical tweet

Original article by Dana McCauley
The Australian – Page: 11 : 26-Oct-17

The Seven Network has declined to comment on claims that it has asked ex-employee Amy Taeuber to delete a tweet which directs Twitter users to an article she wrote for the MamaMia website. Lawyers have written to Taeuber on Seven’s behalf requesting the tweet’s removal. The article had been highly critical of Seven, and blamed unnamed female employees of the network for her dismissal after she made a sexual harassment complaint.

CORPORATES
SEVEN NETWORK LIMITED, SEVEN WEST MEDIA LIMITED – ASX SWM, MAMAMIA.COM.AU PTY LTD, AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION