Business > Legal issues

High Court decision may put workers’ redundancy pay at risk, says Clayton Utz

26 June, 2012

Employees of collapsed companies may be adversely affected by the High Court’s ruling that the Commonwealth’s funding of the school chaplains program is constitutionally invalid.

Horsham company fined $50K over sweep auger injury

22 June, 2012

Following an incident in which a worker’s leg was caught in a sweep auger, a Horsham company has been fined $50,000.

Director with cancer sues former employer over breach of contract

15 June, 2012

The Australian CEO of a major IT company is suing his former employer for breach of contract after the company failed to maintain his income protection insurance and payout entitlements after he was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.

Court action over alleged sham contracting

14 June, 2012

The Fair Work Ombudsman has launched a prosecution against the operator of a Brisbane beauty and photography business, alleging he was involved in sham contracting activity and the underpayment of more than $8000 to seven employees.

Worker fined over nail gun incident

13 June, 2012

A 34-year-old labourer has been convicted and fined at the Wodonga Magistrates’ Court after shooting an apprentice with a nail gun, fracturing his arm.

Flight Centre caught in workplace bullying case

15 May, 2012

Australian travel agency Flight Centre is at the centre of a case of corporate workplace bullying, with Maurice Blackburn Lawyers filing action against the company in the Federal Court. Employment Law Principal Josh Bornstein said the action was filed under the Fair Work Act’s adverse action provisions - laws which play an important function in protecting whistleblowers from victimisation and retribution.

Workers compensation for injury during ‘private bedroom activities’

09 May, 2012 by Felicity Clarke and Elizabeth McLean, Squire Sanders

The Federal Court has upheld a workers compensation claim by a Commonwealth worker whose ‘private activities’ with a ‘male friend’ in a motel room caused a glass light fitting above the bed to fall and strike her on the nose and mouth leaving her with physical and psychological injuries.

Asbestos lawyers welcome James Hardie High Court decision

03 May, 2012

Today's High Court decision on James Hardie Industries has been welcomed by Maurice Blackburn lawyers. The Court held that seven non-executive directors of James Hardie broke the law when they released a misleading statement to the Australian Stock Exchange in February 2001.

Director fined $11,000 over ‘seriously reckless’ employment practices

03 May, 2012

The former sole director of a retail company has been fined $11,000 after the Federal Magistrates Court found he presided over “seriously reckless” employment practices.

ACCC takes action against Safety Compliance

02 May, 2012

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has instituted proceedings against Safety Compliance and three individuals related to the company. The company operates its business from Tweed Heads, NSW.

Colorpak workers could begin protected industrial action over sick leave

26 April, 2012

Carton finishers in Melbourne’s south could soon begin protected industrial action in an effort to defend a key entitlement under threat by their management. AMWU Print Division organiser Tony Piccolo said negotiations on a new collective agreement at Colorpak’s Mt Waverly site had broken down over the issue of sick leave entitlements - traditionally paid out upon redundancy.

Toyota to face legal action over unfair dismissals

24 April, 2012

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, an Australian law firm, has filed Federal Court action today on behalf of sacked Toyota workers, to reinstate a number of those it claims were subjected to targeted and unlawful discrimination in the recent job cuts at the car company's Altona plant.

The social media conundrum: why organisations need a clear policy

12 April, 2012 by Brett Felthan and Cameron Nichol, PwC Australia

There have been a number of recent unfair dismissal cases involving the termination of the employment of employees because of what employees have said on social media websites. These cases, including the two referred to below, have highlighted that without a clear social media policy, employees may be confused about what they can and cannot write on social media websites. This may lead to employees making comments which results in them losing their jobs and employers facing costly litigation and negative publicity where they seek to take action against these employees.

Company fined $50,000 over electric shock incident

10 April, 2012

Mulgrave sign installation company Southern Ultimate Sign Installations (Southern USI) has been convicted and fined $50,000, and ordered to pay almost $6000 in legal costs, over an incident that left a worker with severe burns to his body after he suffered an electric shock.

Farm safety under microscope after woman run over by truck

04 April, 2012

Farm safety has been put in the spotlight following the conviction and $80,000 fine of Werribee vegetable grower J & K Zausa after a woman was run over by a truck reversing from a machinery shed.

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