Posts: Bullying

E-updates, blog articles, events, press articles and success stories about

Bullying

The onus and presumption in adverse action matters

It’s on you

Under the general protections provisions in the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act), it is unlawful for a person to take adverse action against another person for a proscribed reason. One of the features of the general protections provisions under the FW Act is the presumption that adverse action was taken for a proscribed reason unless it is proven that the adverse action was not taken for that reason.

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Webinar: It Doesn't Matter Where You Work - Managing bullying and harassment in today's workplaces

With many of us, some for the first time, in the midst of working remotely, it's important that employers are vigilant in ensuring their employees behave appropriately at all times regardless of the method of interaction or communication.

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Commission orders parties to stop yelling in the workplace

Quiet, please

The Fair Work Commission recently issued interim orders in an application for orders to stop bullying, which required the parties to, amongst other things, treat each other with respect and dignity, and to not yell in an unreasonable manner.

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Workplace bullies convicted and fined for breaching WHS duties

Acts of gross stupidity

There have been a number of prosecutions this year that have resulted in workplace bullies being found to have breached their duties under State and Territory work health and safety legislation

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Casual swearing no excuse for conduct

A little less conversational swearing

There is no doubt that swearing in the workplace is unacceptable - the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has repeatedly held that swearing in an abusive manner that is directed towards others is a valid reason for dismissal.

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Workplace bullying and reasonable management action

Just Managing

Workplace bullying can be extremely serious and should not be tolerated by employers.

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Restraints of Trade

Restraints of Trade

In the lead up to our webinar titled “Hold the Line! – Restraints & Employment Contracts” on 28 August 2019, we wanted to share some of the main discussion points and prominent cases on the topic of restraints of trade.

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Worker convicted for bullying behaviour

Court Bags a Bully

Work health and safety legislation aims to provide protections for workers and other persons by eliminating or minimising risks to health and safety.

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Workplace Relations Review

Cases and Legislation July 2019

Workplace investigations and the disciplinary process, labour hire company convicted, review of Miscellaneous Award 2010, recruitment, criminal records and discrimination, sports Law - player suspensions and stand downs

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Key takeaways from our webinar ‘Managing Workplace Behaviour’

The Standard is the Standard

Workplace Law’s managing director, Athena Koelmeyer, recently presented our webinar entitled ‘Managing Workplace Behaviour’ during which she discussed many of the challenges faced by employers when it comes to managing workplace behaviour.

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Why clubs need to regulate fan and member behaviour at sporting events

Have a seat and take a stand

Racial abuse from fans and/or members certainly falls foul of discrimination laws and can lead to significant questions being asked of clubs and organisations about what steps they took or could have reasonably taken to prevent players from being subject to such behaviour.

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FWC warns of abuse of stop bullying jurisdiction

The Stalking Horse

It has unfortunately become a common occurrence for employees who are subject to management action to immediately seek redress by filing a claim against their employer (or other employees) alleging things such as adverse action, discrimination or bullying.

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The FWC on employee disputes and workplace bullying

The Clash

When emotions are running high and differences are unable to be resolved, employees often turn to the anti-bullying jurisdiction of the Fair Work Commission (FWC).

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Employer ordered to pay $237,000 for defaming former employee

De-Fame!

Defamation in the workplace is more often than not associated with disgruntled employees making adverse or negative remarks about their employer (or former employer).

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FWC orders managing director to stop bullying HR manager

Family Feud

In response to an application to stop bullying, the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has the power to make any orders it thinks necessary to prevent workplace bullying from continuing.

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WCC finds addressing email issues with worker not reasonable action

You've got email

Under workers compensation legislation, the “reasonable action” defence is one often relied upon by insurers against claims of work-related psychological injury.

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FWC upholds dismissals from workplace with “robust environment”

A break from banter

It is becoming increasingly challenging for employers and employees to understand where the line is between a relaxed, open and friendly workplace culture

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Employer awarded $35,000 in costs after defeating adverse action claim

Weighing the costs

In a matter recently before the Federal Circuit Court of Australia an employer successfully claimed that an employee acted unreasonably in the course of proceedings and the employer was awarded costs of $35,000.

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Adverse action taken against employee for failure to perform duties

Muddying the waters

The general protections provisions under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) make it unlawful for an employer to take adverse action against a person for a prohibited reason.

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Employer ordered to advise employees about FWC’s stop-bullying orders

Show and Tell

The purpose of the Fair Work Commission’s anti-bullying jurisdiction is not to punish bullies or to compensate an individual who has been bullied but to prevent future bullying in the workplace.

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FWC denies delivery driver anti-bullying orders

Message delivered

Where possible, employers should be upfront with their workers about changes to usual business processes and procedures and the reasons for those changes.

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Assaulted worker denied access to workers comp for baiting and taunting co-worker to breaking point

The last straw

In a recent decision of the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, a self-insured employer’s decision to deny a worker’s workers compensation claim was upheld on the basis that the worker’s own serious and wilful misconduct lead to his injuries.

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When is a volunteer not a volunteer (for the purpose of the FWC's anti-bullying jurisdiction)?

Can a volunteer apply for a stop bullying order?

Commissioner Peter Hampton of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) has provided some clarity as to whether a volunteer can apply for a stop bullying order in his decision in the matter of Gaylene May McDonald [2016] FWC 300 (McDonald Case).

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Stop Bullying Orders not required after employer changes its ways

As a matter of good practice, it's important that employers have in place an anti-bullying policy

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) provides that the Fair Work Commission may only make orders to stop bullying if it is found that the worker has been bullied at work and if there is a risk that the bullying will continue.

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How workplace conflict can become bullying behaviour

School’s out

Left unaddressed, workplace conflict can sometimes evolve into allegations of bullying behaviour. A recent decision by the Fair Work Commission (FWC) highlights how the working relationship between a school teacher and Principal deteriorated to the point that an application for an order to stop bullying was made.

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Workplace lotto syndicates and bullying

We’ve hit the jackpot!

Recently it was reported that a Sydney factory employee applied to the NSW Supreme Court in an attempt to claim a share of the $40 million jackpot, won by 14 employees of a cable manufacturer in Liverpool.

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Workplace bullying and work health and safety

Safety not guaranteed

Just like other risks to health and safety in the workplace, a person conducting a business and undertaking (PCBU) must take steps to eliminate or minimise the risk of bullying.

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Anti-bullying orders issued to employer and employee to reset the employment relationship

Let me restart

The anti-bullying jurisdiction of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) gives the Fair Work Commission (FWC) a broad power to make any order it considers appropriate to prevent a worker from being bullied at work (except an order which requires monetary payment).

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

To join or not to join...

In King v The Trustee for Bartlett Family Trust T/A Concept Wire Industries [2017] FWC 3867, the Fair Work Commission considered an unfair dismissal application where an employee was dismissed after it was found that he bullied another employee about joining the union.

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Employee ordered to pay employer’s legal costs

Called out in the Commission

In a rare decision by the Fair Work Commission (FWC), an employee has been ordered to pay her former employer’s legal costs after it held that the employee’s application had no prospects of success, was without basis and was an abuse of process.

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FWC issues interim stop bullying order for family run business

Family Portrait

Workplace bullying can often have a significant impact on workplace morale; however it can become compounded when the bullying occurs in small family run businesses where anti-bullying policies and procedures may not be in place.

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Employer prevented from proceeding with investigation and disciplinary process

Stop right now

The Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) gives the Fair Work Commission (the Commission) the power to make orders to stop bullying where it is satisfied pursuant to section 789FF that: (1) A worker has been bullied at work by an individual or group of individuals; and (2) There is a risk that the worker will continue to be bullied at work by the individual or group.

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