$880,000 paid for unlawful unfair dismissal.

A 60-year-old engineering and operations manager was unlawfully dismissed because his employer was ‘fed up with him’ and he was also accused of being a malingerer.

The court heard that the:

  • employee had asked for a pay rise, to be a member of the board and requested adjusted working hours to attend hospital meetings – after being involved in a car accident that left him with injuries.
  • the employer had made promises, including a promotion in employee’s role and a pay raise, and it wasn’t until the employee felt these promises weren’t kept that he went to his employer and formally requested them.

Federal court Judge Greg Egan said he thought the dismissal was calculated, stating that the contraventions were deliberately made by senior management who had “become increasingly frustrated by the employee’s pleaded complaints and inquiries, and had decided to be rid of him for that proscribed reason.”

In a final ruling the court ordered the organisation to pay:

  • $275,940 for failing to pay unused annual leave
  • $589,439 (plus $13,925 in interest) for compensation based of a calculation the employee would have worked at the company for another 3 years.

ProcessWorx deals with dismissal cases regularly. If you are considering terminating an employee you need to ensure it’s for legitimate reasons, and the appropriate evidence is available to back up your reasoning.

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