Misconduct

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Workplace mediation in the UK – not at all a pussycat

Proponents of workplace mediation often stress its confidential and voluntary nature and the ability to fail to agree without there necessarily being any adverse consequences.  It is all about listening and rapport and trust, say those commentaries, making the whole process sound as cuddly and unthreatening as your favourite puppy. In fact, there are a … Continue Reading

Procedural leak sinks employer’s reliance on workplace drug tests

Although drug and alcohol testing is generally recognised in Australia as forming part of an employer’s armoury for managing its health and safety obligations, a recent Fair Work Commission decision has provided a salutary reminder that employers in Australia which fail to follow best practice when conducting such tests risk being on the wrong end … Continue Reading

Employees of one company can be whistleblowers at another – agency workers gain new protections

When it comes to explaining the importance of a new Employment Appeal Tribunal decision, there is nothing quite like a good story. However, the facts in McTigue -v- University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust are rather dry and indeed nothing like a good story, so we shall settle instead for the (potentially really quite important) … Continue Reading

Employers beware – scope of UK vicarious liability law significantly extended

Almost exactly two years ago we reported on the Court of Appeal’s decision in Mohamud – v – WM Morrisons Supermarkets.  The Court found that Morrisons were not vicariously liable for a serious and unprovoked assault on Mr Mohamud by one of its employees in 2008.  This was because there was not a sufficient connection between … Continue Reading

French Supreme Court decides that failure to display workplace rules rendered dismissal unfair

A recent case before the French Supreme Court acts as a stark warning to employers of the importance of complying with the requirements in the French Labour Code to display their internal rules in the workplace. After the discovery of empty bottles of alcohol in the employees’ changing room, an employer required one of its … Continue Reading

Much ado about nothing in EU decision on workplace email monitoring

“Private Messages at Work can be Read by EU Employers” blared the BBC online yesterday in the sort of alarmist over-simplification normally best left to the Daily Mail. Mr Barbulescu worked for an unnamed business in Romania. He was instructed to set up a Yahoo Messenger account for business purposes only.  The company’s rules made … Continue Reading

When Judges strike back – UK Tribunal Sexual Misconduct Claimant exposes more than he intended

A particularly brutal little tale from the Employment Appeal Tribunal this month about what happens when you are sacked for deceiving your employer, bring an Employment Tribunal claim and then lie to the ET too. Mr G (not his real name, for reasons which will follow – his real name is Mr Roden, also for … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit clarifies: Demanding a supervisor cease harassment is a protected activity

On April 22, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision that clarifies that, for purposes of Title VII retaliation cases, an employee’s demand that a supervisor stop his or her harassing conduct constitutes protected activity under the statute. Affirming the findings of several district courts in the circuit, the appeals court held that … Continue Reading

UK Employment Tribunal awards £3.2m to woman called “Crazy Miss Cokehead” by colleagues

The woman who was called “Crazy Miss Cokehead” by her manager has been awarded nearly £3.2m by an Employment Tribunal for sexual harassment, reportedly including £44,000 for injury to feelings and a further £15,000 in aggravated damages. We originally posted a blog on this story in November 2013 https://www.employmentlawworldview.com/crazy-miss-cokehead-when-banter-goes-too-far/.  Following the liability hearing, the Tribunal … Continue Reading

Does sacking an employee for calling the boss a “complete d*ck” constitute unfair dismissal in Australia?

In a sequel to our blog last year concerning Australian employers using expletives towards employees (click here), the Fair Work Commission was recently faced with the converse scenario, this time being asked to rule on whether an employer was entitled to summarily dismiss an employee who had inadvertently sent him a text message in which … Continue Reading

Employer not driven to investigate all defences in UK disciplinary process

Some reassuring guidance for employers on the conduct of disciplinary investigations from the Court of Appeal last week – not new law but a clear and helpful analysis of just how far you have to go to investigate an employee’s defence. Mr Shrestha was employed by Genesis Housing Association as a support worker, a role … Continue Reading

Single breast grope not sackable offence, says European court

Right, that should be enough to scupper UKIP’s chances of bringing the UK out of Europe, so now onto the actual facts. The German Labour Court in Erfurt last week ordered the reinstatement of a garage mechanic dismissed for fondling the cleaner’s breasts. Cut and dried dismissal material, one might think, especially accompanied by his … Continue Reading

When blackmail and threats over-ride an employee’s duty of loyalty in Europe

Every now and again you read about a case which makes you wonder whether you have just been spending time with Alice in Wonderland. The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has recently delivered such an out-of-body experience relating to freedom of speech where an employee “bad mouthed” his employer in the national press. Mr … Continue Reading

Lessons from the Target “Walk of Shame” Lawsuit – Addressing Suspected Illegal Employee Misconduct

According to a lawsuit filed on January 22 in Los Angeles Superior Court, a young Target employee who had Asperger’s Syndrome (a high-functioning form of autism) committed suicide three days after being paraded through the store in handcuffs and taken away in a police car, allegedly as part of a Target disciplinary policy known as … Continue Reading

Sense and insensibility in French Court Employment decisions

Two recent cases from the French Courts are reviewed in this post, one a sensible relief and the other just frankly terrifying.     First, an employee with more courage than realism claimed that the obligation of confidentiality in his employment contract restricted his freedom to practise his profession, and was therefore void.  He was prepared nonetheless … Continue Reading
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