Archives: Labour & Employment

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The UK’s Proposals for EU Citizens – Some Clarity But More Questions

The government yesterday published its Rights of EU Citizens in the UK Policy Paper Factsheet for workers and employers together with detailed proposals setting out its offer to EU nationals currently resident in the UK and those proposing to enter for the purpose of residency, pre-Brexit. Although there is a fair amount of detail to … Continue Reading

Two Timing Employee Caught in the Act – Uber Unfortunate!

An employee of West Australian Newspapers Limited (WAN) who moonlighted for Uber was caught in the act when, one Saturday night, he picked up a WAN manager. Despite being well and truly busted, the employee (who worked night shifts as WAN’s newspaper machinist) denied having any affiliation with Uber, saying that his wife had the … Continue Reading

Mean manager mistreats minion – employer left to pay the cost

A recent decision of the Queensland Court of Appeal (QCA) has set the record straight in finding that an aged care provider was vicariously liable for the belittling and aggressive conduct of its manager, and awarding the worker $435,583.98 in damages for a psychiatric injury. Ms Eaton started work as an administrative assistant for an … Continue Reading

Gardening Leave – Avoiding the Thorns!

In the absence of any right at common law or under Australia’s Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), the general rule is that gardening leave must be conferred by an express power in an employment contract.  In a remarkable decision by the Victorian Supreme Court in Australia it was held that the employer’s power to direct … Continue Reading

Icing on the cake for Facebook privacy laws & the impact on your workplace

While Facebook continues to produce evidentiary gold for employers seeking to prove employee wrongdoing, a recent New Zealand case demonstrates that privacy settings can’t be ignored. In a recent ruling, the New Zealand Human Rights Review Tribunal ordered an employer pay an ex-employee a hefty $168,000 after it wrongfully accessed her Facebook page and maliciously … Continue Reading

Office relationships – when it’s not okay

A recent decision of the Fair Work Commission (FWC) in Sydney, Australia has highlighted the risks of inter-office relationships, particularly between managers and their subordinates. The FWC upheld Westpac’s summary termination of a long-serving branch manager who had been romantically involved with one of his direct reports.  The bank became aware of the relationship after … Continue Reading

Private lives v saving lives: privacy intrusions of little consequence when drug testing

There has been a long running battle in Australia about whether an employer, when testing for drug use, can ask employees to provide a urine sample. Many unions have resisted the introduction of urine testing, arguing that saliva testing is sufficient and, as such, the process of sampling urine is an unjustified invasion of privacy. … Continue Reading

Can you sack an employee for having ‘friends with benefits’?

You won’t be surprised to know that the word “poly” comes from the Greek word “polýs” which means ‘many’.  But did you know that, earlier this year, the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in Bunning v Centacare [2015] FCCA 280 was faced with the question of whether an employee of a religious organisation could be … Continue Reading

Finally the plight of pregnant workers across Australia is acknowledged – morning sickness is a recognised disability!

In the aftermath of International Womens’ Day, the history books were once again re-written when the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal classified a pregnant worker’s severe morning sickness as a disability under the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic). Ms Bevilacqua was a full time Sales Consultant at a Telstra store up until October 2013 when … Continue Reading

California’s Minimum Wage Increase and Expansion of Paid Family Leave Rights Take Effect Today July 1, 2014

Today is the day that the California Minimum Wage increases from $8 per hour to $9 per hour.  In addition, because of this change the minimum monthly salary for employees in exempt executive, administrative and professional positions increases from $2,773.33 per month ($33,280 annually) to $3,120 per month ($37,440 annually).  Check with your payroll folks … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Holds That Closely Held For-Profit Corporations Can Avoid ACA Contraception Mandate

The Supreme Court has issued a 5-4 decision in which it found that closely-held for-profit corporations can avoid the mandate under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that requires the provision of birth control coverage to their employees.  In reaching their decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood Specialties v. Burwell, the justices determined … Continue Reading

UK Employment Tribunals share your pain. No, really

Obviously when you hold a high judicial office in the UK you have to be very measured in the reports you can make about your function – no ranting tweets here about your boss/service-users/colleagues/coffee, thank you, or that’s your gong firmly down the drain.   Which makes all the more laudable the very clear disgruntlement discernible … Continue Reading
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