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Smart workplace advice

Huge payout after ‘sex, lies and workplace bullying’

An employer has found out the hard way, the risks associated with failing to protect a worker from systematic workplace bullying and sexual harassment.

Rather than taking a worker’s complaint seriously, the employer failed to address issues which a Court later considered could have been avoided by “relatively simply means”.

‘Go ahead and sack me’ threat backfires before FWC

'Go ahead and sack me' threat backfires before FWC

When two employees engage in workplace warfare, the employer’s business can become major collateral damage.

A recent unfair dismissal case showcases a clever framework adopted by an employer in an attempt to end a workplace dispute.

As the dispute worsened, one of the workplace disputants even goaded her employer to sack her.

Was the employer being lured into a carefully laid trap?

Did the employer fall for it?

Read on to find out…

FWC Workplace Bullying Order – A Nightmare on Employer Street?

FWC Workplace Bullying Order - A Nightmare on Employer Street?

A recent Stop Bullying Order by the FWC serves as warning to employers of the broader burden that an order could impose on their workplace and potentially, their management prerogative.

The FWC’s Order not only restricted the workplace interaction between the parties, it went so far as to restrict work attendance times and face-to-face communication.

Read on for our analysis of the FWC’s Order and our tips for preventing it happening to you.

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.

‘You can’t handle the truth’ determination by FWC

‘You can’t handle the truth’ determination by FWC

Photograph courtesy of Sony Pictures

HR investigators often encounter evasive answers and dishonest responses from alleged wrongdoers during workplace investigations.

Knowing how to deal with dodgy behaviour and understanding its impact on an HR investigation is an essential requirement for skilled HR professionals.

In a recent unfair dismissal case, the FWC when faced with a sacked worker’s “farrago of lies”, handed out invaluable guidance for dealing with employee dishonesty during an HR investigation.

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