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10 Common Mistakes With HR Investigations

FWC case – Can a boss tell a worker to F*** off?

FWC case can boss tell worker to f-off?
FWC case can boss tell worker to f-off? In a recent article, we profiled an unfair dismissal case where the Fair Work Commission had to consider whether a worker swearing at the boss was okay. In the tradition of ‘truth at times being stranger than fiction’, we now profile a dismissal case involving a boss telling a worker to “F*** off”. Is it okay for the boss to lose their cool and swear at a subordinate? What if the boss shows regret later on? Does it matter if the worker had exhibited a “belligerent, uncooperative attitude” for some months? Did the boss’s actions amount to an instant sacking? The FWC had to wrestle with these issues and more …
Continue Reading Published in General, News Centre, Other Misconduct

FWC case – Is calling your boss a d**kh**d okay?

fwc-case-calling-boss-dkhd-okay-feature
fwc-case-calling-boss-dkhd-okay After being sacked for conduct including swearing at his Leading Hand, this employee thought he would be able to overturn his dismissal by going to the Fair Work Commission. Unfortunately for the sacked employee, the FWC rejected the employee’s unfair dismissal claim, despite evidence from both the employer and the employee that the use of swear words had been common in the workplace. Find out more about the distinction the FWC made between 'descriptive language' and the employee’s unacceptable workplace swearing; and importantly, how it was applied.
Continue Reading Published in General, News Centre, Other Misconduct

Sacked urinating worker turns tide on employer at FWC

Sacked urinating worker turns tide on employer at FWC
Sacked urinating worker turns tide on employer at FWC A recent unfair dismissal decision of the FWC has yet again highlighted the importance of following a proper procedure when conducting a HR investigation into employee misconduct. Despite serious improper behaviour being committed by the employee in question, the HR Manager’s manner of conducting the investigation didn’t fare well before the FWC. Find out how it all went wrong for this employer.
Continue Reading Published in General, News Centre, Other Misconduct

Unfair dismissal despite workplace fight not ‘handbags at ten paces’

Unfair dismissal despite workplace fight not ‘handbags at ten paces’
Unfair dismissal despite workplace fight not ‘handbags at ten paces’ The FWC has unleashed a scathing attack on this employer’s HR department for leaving two inexperienced employees in charge of a workplace investigation that resulted in the summary dismissal of an abusive employee who had physical contact with a co-worker. Despite having a valid reason for the fighting employee’s dismissal, a range of additional circumstances made the summary dismissal ultimately unfair. The moral of this story is that an employer must not forget fair procedural requirements, even when a dismissal appears more than justified.
Continue Reading Published in Assault & Fighting, News Centre, Other Misconduct, Workplace Bullying

Abusive ‘workplace bully’ loses dismissal case

Abusive workplace bully loses dismissal case
Abusive workplace bully loses dismissal case When faced with a violent and aggressive employee who has a history of threatening and anti-social behaviour, it is tempting to ignore established practices and cut procedural corners. This employer was tested to its limit by an employee who tried 'every trick in the book' including intimidation of the HR investigators. Find out how the employer and its HR investigators managed to stay on track despite extremely trying circumstances.
Continue Reading Published in Assault & Fighting, Other Misconduct, Workplace Bullying

FWC clarifies support person vs advocate controversy

FWC clarifies support person vs advocate controversy
FWC clarifies support person vs advocate controversy A recent FWC appeal decision has shed light on the obligations of employers during workplace investigations, particularly when it comes to support persons. The employer concerned was faced with a raft of accusations by a sacked employee that it had denied her procedural fairness by the manner in which the workplace investigation was carried out. For now at least, the FWC decision puts to rest arguments about the extent of an employer’s obligation where a support person is requested.
Continue Reading Published in News Centre, Other Misconduct

FWC upholds HR investigation of ‘workplace clown’

FWC upholds HR investigation of 'workplace clown'
FWC upholds HR investigation of 'workplace clown' This employer's investigation of a workplace 'clown' was no laughing matter. Despite what some may consider to be a 'harmless joke' the employee's mimicking of a co-worker's accent was something more sinister. Luckily a watertight workplace investigation process ensured its sacking of the employee withstood the scrutiny of the FWC. Investigating the workplace jokester who denies any wrongdoing can be daunting. Find out how this employer got it right.
Continue Reading Published in General, News Centre, Other Misconduct

Failed drug test employee also fails over dishonesty

failed-drug-test-employee-also-fails-over-dishonesty-feature
Failed drug test employee also fails over dishonesty For an employee of 4+ years, dishonesty during a workplace investigation into a positive drug test left him petitioning the FWC for his job back. The ensuing unfair dismissal claim put the employer’s workplace investigation practices under the microscope before the FWC. This is yet another case highlighting how employee dishonesty will impact the trust and confidence necessary in the employment relationship.
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Worker’s “absolute dishonesty” sees fighting dismissal upheld on appeal

Worker's "absolute dishonesty" sees fighting dismissal upheld on appeal
Worker's "absolute dishonesty" sees fighting dismissal upheld on appeal Having two of its employees involved in a physical fight at work was concerning enough for this employer. Then having the FWC reject the employer's dismissal action as unfair was something the employer would not accept. Find out what happened in the employer's legal challenge to the initial finding and what it means for your misconduct procedures.
Continue Reading Published in Assault & Fighting, General, News Centre, Other Misconduct, Workplace Bullying

How to prepare for new workplace bullying laws

How to prepare for new workplace bullying laws
How to prepare for new workplace bullying laws The countdown to the introduction of new national anti-bullying measures is on. With only six weeks to go before amendments to the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) come into force on 1 January 2014, employers and HR professionals are now under the pump to understand how these changes will inevitably affect their workplace. The HR Investigator has done the hard yards for you, unpacking the new workplace bullying amendments to assist employers in understanding the impact these laws will undoubtedly have. We tell you what you should be doing now.
Continue Reading Published in News Centre, Other Misconduct, Workplace Bullying