Phil O'Brien's Blog (7)

Sexual harassment investigation – Grabbing an Employee and Sexually Propositioning her was Valid Reason for Dismissal

The Fair Work Commission dismissed a former Calvary Hospital office worker’s application for an unfair dismissal remedy. Link to case

Andrew Powell commenced employment with Calvary Public Hospital in an administrative role in September 2014. On 26 May 2016, Mr Powell was suspended without pay pending an investigation into allegations of serious…


Added by Phil O'Brien on May 19, 2017 at 7:30 — No Comments

Workplace Bullying Myth Busting

Instances of bullying in the workplace are an issue for many employers at some point especially if not managed correctly it can be very costly.  However a lot of the advice and suggestions for dealing with bullying while well-meaning simply do not work.

Let’s have a look at some of the common…


Added by Phil O'Brien on May 11, 2017 at 7:30 — 2 Comments

Summary dismissal: do you have the grounds?

Summary dismissal is dismissal without notice. It does not require advance notice to the employee and wages are only paid to the time of dismissal. An employer has a legal right to summarily dismiss an employee without notice for serious misconduct or other conduct which justifies such dismissal.

Employers should always think very carefully and thoroughly consider the options before making a decision to immediately or…


Added by Phil O'Brien on May 10, 2017 at 8:00 — No Comments

Misconduct Investigations: avoiding bias

It is not uncommon especially when the outcome is disputed, for an employee subject of a complaint or grievance to claim that the investigation was unfair or investigator was bias or perhaps a conflict of interest existed, especially if there is an adverse finding.

How do you counter an employee’s claim that you may be bias in the investigation if you have prior knowledge of the parties and there is no one else that…


Added by Phil O'Brien on May 8, 2017 at 9:30 — No Comments

Stopping workplace bullying, harassment, sexual harassment – what can you do?

Firstly it is important to accept that you can’t stop it 100%, but what you can do is take all reasonable steps to reduce the risk of workplace bullying harassment and sexual harassment to your employees and your business.

Workplace bullying, harassment and sexual harassment is damaging to those who experience it, those who witness it and can be very damaging and costly to the organisation.

Reasonable steps to reduce the risk

Stopping workplace bullying,…


Added by Phil O'Brien on May 5, 2017 at 13:30 — No Comments

Sexual harassment myth busting

In spite of a number of matters in courts and tribunals sexual harassment in the workplace continues to be an issue.

As a workplace investigator and trainer I come across many opinions, beliefs and myths about what is and what is not sexual harassment and where is the line drawn?

Some of the most common myths around sexual harassment

Myth: I can’t report sexual harassment as no one will believe…


Added by Phil O'Brien on May 5, 2017 at 9:30 — 2 Comments

Workplace Investigation Questions to ask and not to ask

Workplace Investigation Questions and the question of what and how to ask questions during an interview.

The interview is typically a means to gather evidence, to clarify point made in a complaint, to find out what people saw, heard or experienced and also an opportunity for the person subject who is the subject of the complaint to provide their side of the story.

There are two key elements to the actual interview that are of paramount importance - asking questions and…


Added by Phil O'Brien on May 2, 2017 at 8:00 — No Comments

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