Shane Koelmeyer's Blog (195)

Part 3: End of the line – Older workers and discrimination on termination of employment

In Part 1 of our blog series on older employees, Selfie time – Video “Snaplication and the potential for age discrimination in recruitment, we looked at age discrimination in the recruitment process.

At the other end of the…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on October 17, 2017 at 14:43 — No Comments

Part 2: Just Google it – Age discrimination and technology in the workplace

In the modern day workplace, employers are becoming increasingly reliant on computer systems and introducing new forms of technology and equipment to increase productivity and output. It is often therefore a requirement that employees be proficient in certain computer programs or, at least, that they undergo training to become proficient.…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on October 16, 2017 at 16:30 — No Comments

Part 1: Selfie time – Video “Snaplications” and the potential for age discrimination in recruitment

We’ve all heard of “blind” recruiting, particularly in the early phases of the recruitment process, but what about the opposite? Actively recruiting based on a visual medium? Look no further than the “Snaplication.”

The Snaplication is an online video job application that can be made and submitted using social media app Snapchat. The Snaplication is…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on October 16, 2017 at 16:00 — No Comments

#TakeAKnee: Can employers legally dismiss an employee for “taking a knee”?

The world has been following the NFL with keen interest these past few weeks after President Trump called on NFL owners to fire players who refused to stand for the US national anthem and flag before a game – raising interesting questions for us sports-loving employment lawyers.

The “Take a Knee” movement was started in 2016 by former San Francisco…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on October 11, 2017 at 16:21 — No Comments

Is this thing on? Recording meetings and other strategies for substantiating workplace discussions

All too often workplace disputes arise out of conversations or meetings where the participants have wildly different versions of events. The parties then end up before a court or the Fair Work Commission (FWC) where a judge or FWC member is tasked with deciding whose evidence they prefer – essentially, who appears to be more credible and reliable.…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on October 11, 2017 at 16:05 — No Comments

Someone to Lean On: Who can be a support person?

In determining whether an employee’s termination was harsh, unjust or unreasonable, s 387 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) provides a list of criteria the Fair Work Commission (FWC) will consider. One such criterion is whether there was any unreasonable refusal by the employer to allow the person to have a support person present in any discussions relating to dismissal.…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on October 11, 2017 at 15:31 — No Comments

Flushed away – Teacher compensated for disclosure of health information on note found in staff toilet

From the moment an individual applies for a job, an employer has collected personal information about that person. As the employment relationship continues more and more personal information about the individual is collected – and for legitimate reasons.

Some information may relate to the practical side of the employment relationship like contact…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on October 11, 2017 at 15:14 — No Comments

Leavin’ on a jet plane: Refusing requests for annual leave

A recent decision of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has highlighted the importance of correctly managing employees’ requests for annual leave (Adriana Stevens v Horsley Park Supermarket Pty Ltd T/A Carlo’s IGA Horsley Park [2017] FWC 4626).

The employee in question was dismissed from her employment as a Duty Manager in a supermarket…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on October 11, 2017 at 14:45 — No Comments

I’ll txt u the deets: The perks and pitfalls of texting in the employment relationship

There is no doubt that we are glued to our phones, our mobile phones to be specific. In 2016, the Australian Communications and Media Authority reported that 5.78 million Australians no longer have a fixed-line telephone at home, relying solely on their mobile phones to communicate with others. A 2016 Deloitte study found that 27% of Australian mobile consumers claimed to not have made any standard voice calls in a given week,…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on September 29, 2017 at 13:18 — No Comments

New car, zero interest (in employee’s wages): Labour-hire operator gets referral to public prosecutor for non-payment of wages

The power of the courts to make orders in response to a contravention of a provision of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) is a broad one. It is derived from section 545(1) of the FW Act, which states:

“The Federal Court or the Federal Circuit Court may make any order the court considers appropriate if the court…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on September 29, 2017 at 13:04 — No Comments

Swing and a miss: Dismissal for injured employee discovered playing golf

In unfair dismissal applications, the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) must look at the factors under section 387 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) when considering whether a dismissal was ‘harsh, unjust or unreasonable’.

The first of these factors is whether there was a ‘valid reason’ for the dismissal relating to…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on September 29, 2017 at 12:50 — No Comments

Crime and Punishment: FWC says unacceptable comment in the workplace didn’t warrant dismissal

Managing workplace behaviour is a balancing act for employers and HR. Some workplace policies provide examples of unacceptable behaviour and how to deal with it, but these policies cannot hope to address all types of behaviour or prescribe every appropriate redress. Employers need to exercise some judgment when they become aware of inappropriate behaviour and consider carefully whether an employee’s conduct will warrant…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on September 25, 2017 at 15:47 — No Comments

Ruse of the Guardians: Employee dismissed for fraudulent workers compensation claim

In Willmot v BlueScope Steel Limited [2017] FWC 4309, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) considered an unfair dismissal application made by an employee who was summarily dismissed for serious misconduct in relation to his worker’s compensation claim.

Mr Willmot (the Employee) was employed by BlueScope Steel Limited (Employer)…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on September 25, 2017 at 15:14 — No Comments

Reinstated and it feels so good: FWC finds General Manager’s redundancy based on consultant’s recommendation not genuine

When employers conduct an organisation-wide review of their operations, it can be both an exciting and challenging time. There are significant gains to be made by identifying inefficiencies and addressing them.  However, the desire to move too swiftly and rush this process should be avoided. Moving too fast may result in employers either intentionally or unintentionally disregarding their legal obligations to…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on September 25, 2017 at 15:03 — No Comments

All Eyes on Me: Workplace surveillance

Technology is often used to make the performance of our daily or work tasks easier – however it has become increasingly sophisticated and can now be used to measure and monitor our every move and task.

Recently, financial institution Barclays introduced a new tracking devices system called “OccupEye” underneath employee workstations in the UK. The…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on August 31, 2017 at 17:32 — No Comments

To join or not to join: Employee found to have bullied co-worker to join union not unfairly dismissed

Bullying complaints can often be difficult to manage and investigate, particularly when they involve allegations about the exercise of a workplace right to join or not join a union.

In King v The Trustee for Bartlett Family Trust T/A Concept Wire Industries [2017] FWC 3867, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) considered an unfair dismissal…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on August 31, 2017 at 17:04 — No Comments

“All spaghetti and no meatballs”: FWO seeks penalties against a restaurant that deliberately disregarded advice and underpaid employees

It is no secret that the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has been cracking down on employers breaching their employment obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (the FW Act) and exploiting vulnerable workers in order to gain financial and competitive advantage.

Indeed, the Federal Government is very close to passing a Bill…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on August 31, 2017 at 16:51 — No Comments

I’ll get my people to call your people: Employee awarded compensation after employer sidesteps representative

Allegations of workplace bullying can present some of the most demanding circumstances that an employer will face in the course of the employment relationship. There is the initial response to consider, an investigation, the possibility of counter allegations and, of course, the potential involvement of lawyers and unions.

The Fair Work Commission…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on August 31, 2017 at 16:45 — No Comments

“WCI: NSW – Workplace Conduct Investigation”

Warning for employers relying on investigation reports in a termination   

What happens when the relationship of trust necessary between an employer and an employee breaks down? As the employer, who do you trust when you are trying to ensure honesty in the workplace?…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on August 31, 2017 at 16:38 — No Comments

The one that got away: Correctional services officer reinstated following inmate escape

In a recent decision of the NSW Industrial Relations Commissions (NSW IRC), a senior corrective services officer (the Employee) was reinstated following his dismissal for involvement in an incident which lead to the escape of a maximum security inmate (Collins v Industrial Relations Secretary on behalf of the Department of Justice (Corrective Services NSW) [2017] NSWIRComm 1051).…

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Added by Shane Koelmeyer on August 30, 2017 at 17:48 — No Comments

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