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FWC case – Can a boss tell a worker to F*** off?

FWC case can boss tell worker to f-off?

In a recent article, we profiled an unfair dismissal case where the Fair Work Commission had to consider whether a worker swearing at the boss was okay.

In the tradition of ‘truth at times being stranger than fiction’, we now profile a dismissal case involving a boss telling a worker to “F*** off”.

Is it okay for the boss to lose their cool and swear at a subordinate?

What if the boss shows regret later on?

Does it matter if the worker had exhibited a “belligerent, uncooperative attitude” for some months?

Did the boss’s actions amount to an instant sacking?

The FWC had to wrestle with these issues and more …

FWC case – Is calling your boss a d**kh**d okay?


After being sacked for conduct including swearing at his Leading Hand, this employee thought he would be able to overturn his dismissal by going to the Fair Work Commission.

Unfortunately for the sacked employee, the FWC rejected the employee’s unfair dismissal claim, despite evidence from both the employer and the employee that the use of swear words had been common in the workplace.

Find out more about the distinction the FWC made between ‘descriptive language’ and the employee’s unacceptable workplace swearing; and importantly, how it was applied.

Sacked urinating worker turns tide on employer at FWC

Sacked urinating worker turns tide on employer at FWC

A recent unfair dismissal decision of the FWC has yet again highlighted the importance of following a proper procedure when conducting a HR investigation into employee misconduct.

Despite serious improper behaviour being committed by the employee in question, the HR Manager’s manner of conducting the investigation didn’t fare well before the FWC.

Find out how it all went wrong for this employer.

Unfair dismissal despite workplace fight not ‘handbags at ten paces’

Unfair dismissal despite workplace fight not ‘handbags at ten paces’

The FWC has unleashed a scathing attack on this employer’s HR department for leaving two inexperienced employees in charge of a workplace investigation that resulted in the summary dismissal of an abusive employee who had physical contact with a co-worker.

Despite having a valid reason for the fighting employee’s dismissal, a range of additional circumstances made the summary dismissal ultimately unfair.

The moral of this story is that an employer must not forget fair procedural requirements, even when a dismissal appears more than justified.

Abusive ‘workplace bully’ loses dismissal case

Abusive workplace bully loses dismissal case

When faced with a violent and aggressive employee who has a history of threatening and anti-social behaviour, it is tempting to ignore established practices and cut procedural corners.

This employer was tested to its limit by an employee who tried ‘every trick in the book’ including intimidation of the HR investigators.

Find out how the employer and its HR investigators managed to stay on track despite extremely trying circumstances.

FWC clarifies support person vs advocate controversy

FWC clarifies support person vs advocate controversy

A recent FWC appeal decision has shed light on the obligations of employers during workplace investigations, particularly when it comes to support persons.

The employer concerned was faced with a raft of accusations by a sacked employee that it had denied her procedural fairness by the manner in which the workplace investigation was carried out.

For now at least, the FWC decision puts to rest arguments about the extent of an employer’s obligation where a support person is requested.

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