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Smart workplace advice

Employer slammed $364k for not investigating workplace bullying

Employer slammed $364k for not investigating workplace bullying

In another “when will they ever learn” example, a Sunshine Coast employer has been hit with a 6 figure payout for the consequences of failing to investigate workplace bullying – burying your head in the sand is now a costly option.

After multiple failures from senior staff members and a general disregard for the basic tenets of a workplace investigation, this incredibly costly mistake contains some harsh realities for employers.

Miss this week’s lesson at your own peril.

Employer unfairly sacks ‘workplace bully’

On January 1 2014, unprecedented workplace bullying legislation will come into force.

Employers will need to ensure that they know how to correctly characterise and investigate workplace bullying in order to avoid experiencing the disappointment of one recent employer who’s investigation ended up in an expensive wild goose chase.

Facing an unfair dismissal claim over a panicked reaction to an apparent bullying claim, this case contains a dire warning for employers – correctly investigate workplace complaints or else.

‘Bart Simpson defence’ in workplace investigation sinks swearing employee

This employee seemed to think that maintaining a ‘Bart Simpson defence’ would be his silver bullet against allegations of abusive and insulting language.

Coupled with a failure to cooperate or show remorse during the ensuing workplace investigation, the employee found himself in dire straits before the Fair Work Commission.

Find out what the Commission thought of this behaviour and why it warranted his dismissal …

What are you investigating? Performance OR misconduct – it’s not as clear as you may think!

What are you investigating? Performance OR misconduct?

Before commencing any workplace investigation, HR investigators must understand what they’re investigating. Is it unsatisfactory performance? Is it misconduct? Is it a combination?

Employers who get it wrong may be vulnerable to an unfair dismissal finding if they’re sued.

We highlight a recent dismissal case involving a child care centre that demonstrates the importance of knowing the difference between performance and conduct…

Employer’s HR investigation following serious workplace assault vindicated by Federal Court

Recently an employer was faced with what for some would be a very difficult decision.

It had received report of a physical attack by one employee on another but up to that point the alleged attacker had 30 years of almost unblemished service.

Even more troubling, the employer’s HR investigation also uncovered evidence of provocation and years of bullying by the alleged victim.

The employer’s enforcing of its zero tolerance policy and sacking of the alleged attacker sparked almost 2 years of litigation.

Find out why the Federal Court sided with the employer’s actions and what it means for your investigations …

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