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 Uber business and he just occasionally drove her car to the petrol station or car wash. He also initially denied picking up the WAN manager, but in a classic case of #absolutelysprung, quickly reneged from this position when shown the receipt identifying him by name and picture as the Uber driver.
It was clear from the employee’s employment contract that he was required to seek WAN’s permission before working a second job. It was also clear from WAN’s codes and procedures, as well as discussion at toolbox meetings (which the employee attended), that WAN had a duty of care to manage the safety risk of fatigue arising from night shift work.
When WAN investigated the matter, the employee refused to answer its questions or produce documents and conducted himself in an obstructive manner causing the employment relationship to become untenable. The employee was subsequently dismissed and claimed unfair dismissal on the basis he was confused as to the meaning of having a ‘second job’ (#goodtry)
Amid the cobweb of lies (including that his wife must have completed his Uber registration without his knowledge), it was revealed that the employee had driven as an Uber driver on at least 15 occasions. The Fair Work Commission upheld the dismissal stating that the employee deliberately provided misleading information to WAN and ultimately, was the “architect of his own demise” (#nowafulltimeUberdriver)