Employment

  • Work safety poster leads to $200,000 damages award

    21st Oct 2021

    Emily Wittig from Stacks Collins Thompson examines a recent case where a female employee was awarded $200,000 in damages by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. The Court agreed that a work safety poster featuring the words ‘Feel Great – Lubricate!’ over a photo of the employee resulted in the employee feeling ‘exposed, humiliated and ashamed’ and led to her resignation.

  • Former Uber Eats courier paid $400,000 in out-of-court settlement

    16th Sep 2021

    Is a gig economy worker an employee or independent contractor? The line that separates the two employment classifications is becoming increasingly blurred. Emily Wittig from Stacks Collins Thompson discusses the case of Amita Gupta, an Uber Eats courier, who brought an unfair dismissal case before the Fair Work Commission which was eventually settled by Uber Eats. Had the case proceeded and succeeded, it could have set a legal precedent that couriers are employees rather than contractors.

  • Continuing grim reality of work-related fatalities

    14th Jan 2021

    A total of 3,751 workers were killed in work-related incidents between 2003 and 2018. The number of non-fatal work-related injuries in Australia is also extreme.

    Justin Stack observes that changes in legislation have made it more difficult for injured workers to obtain adequate compensation and he discusses avenues through which NSW workers can challenge an insurer’s decision or dispute the amount of compensation they have been awarded.

  • Firing an employee who criticises your client is not unfair dismissal

    3rd Dec 2020

    The decision of Rumble v The Partnership trading as HWL Ebsworth Lawyers [2019] FCA 1409 involved a dismissal of the lawyer who led a government-commissioned review into sexual and physical abuse, and refused to stop publicly criticising the firm’s government client.

    Geoff Baldwin discusses how the Federal Court did not consider the lawyer’s dismissal to be unfair as the lawyer had failed to follow management directions to not criticise a client of the firm.

  • The high cost of classifying bus driver employees as contractors

    26th Nov 2020

    Emily Wittig from Stacks Collins Thompson discusses the decision of Fair Work Ombudsman v Eagle Tours Pty Limited [2019] FCCA 2099, where the Federal Circuit Court fined a company for deliberately wrongly classifying employees as independent contractors and precluding them from employee benefits. This decision reflects that in a court matter, the judge will look at the totality of the workplace relationship to determine the status of a person’s employment.

  • Linton Sayer v Melsteel in the Supreme Court of Victoria, June 2017

    6th Jul 2017

    The plaintiff had been in continuous employment since the age of 16. He commenced employment with the defendant, as a boilermaker, in 2006. As and from 2008, Mr Savage became his supervisor and problems started to occur.