Sacked worker forged medical certificate and claimed she nearly died because the way she was treated


I this bizarre and recent (2012) case, a banking employee who was sacked for forging a medical certificate, and who then claimed she nearly died because of the treatment she received at work, has had her case rejected by Fair Work Australia.

Sacked worker forged medical certificate and claimed she nearly died because the way she was treated

In this rather disturbing case, the banking employee provided a medical certificate to her employer [Westpac Banking Corporation] – in September 2011 after she took a week off work. However, an internal investigation found the certificate was fraudulent.  Her employment was terminated a week later.

In February 2012 proceedings, the sacked banking employee told Fair Work Australia she was coerced into falsifying the medical certificate because she was “being bullied and treated unfairly” by two managers.

She said she “could not afford” to go to the doctor, and she “would have said something but I did not have a point of contact in my workplace” to explain the situation to.

FWA Commissioner Barbara Deegan rejected the banking employee’s unfair dismissal claim, and stated she was satisfied the employer had no option but to terminate her employment “in light of her dishonest conduct”.

On appeal, the baking employee claimed she “almost died not once but twice” because of the way she was treated at work.

“Because I spoke up and reported the bullying I lost my job and now I’m facing homelessness… and I’m due to have a baby as well,” she said.

“This is the ripple effect of a situation that somebody else chose to put me in [through] bullying [me],” she added.

President Iain Ross, Senior Deputy President Jonathan Hamberger and Commissioner Suzanne Jones however found the woman’s appeal was “devoid of merit” and that the forgery was a “clear case of serious misconduct”

They also said that “on her own evidence [the employee] provided her employer with a fraudulent medical certificate and when confronted with the allegation provided a response which contained statements which were untrue”

“In our view the decision subject to appeal does not disclose error, indeed it is plainly correct.”

You can read the legal case here: Tokoda v Westpac Banking Corporation T/A Westpac [2012] FWAFB 3995 (17 May 2012)

We do agree with Fair Work’s decision and that forging medical certificate(s) is plain fraud. There is simply NO reason why you can’t go to your local doctor and explain how you feel, or what is happening at work and discuss not only the provision of a medical certificate, but also discuss the possibility of lodging a stress claim, provided what you are saying has merit of course.

It is extremely important that you see your doctor immediately if you are being bullied, harassed, intimidated and can’t cope with it. After all the most important thing is such a situation is to have your psychological injury DOCUMENTED.


[post dictated and manually entered on behalf of WCV]

2 Responses to “Sacked worker forged medical certificate and claimed she nearly died because the way she was treated”

  1. With you as always Pauline. Pretty sad thing to do & reveals a very naive, struggling, severely traumatised Human being.
    I spent 2002-2012, under a GP “who was always running late for tennis?” A GP who would put dates back to front?? A GP WHO upped my medication to quantities of a terminal cancer patient???A GP who couldn’t remember/didn’t understand Why I was REF– USED workcover for ASSAULT because he “forgot” to fax paperwork? A GP who often read out the italics”can be filled in by patient,so I can get to tennis!”

    After, being a member of society in many roles,Cystic Fibrosis Awareness, Equestrian Instructor for Australian Horse Gymnasts,RDA,E street,PICK the KIDDIS up & get them home( Christian outreach for underage intoxicated on sat night….etc
    Most people do STUPIDITIES when they ARE IN TROUBLE ALREADY. I do not Approve AT ALL. And, given my latest attack from the BULLHAVEN OF BULLIES, I am “going way out on a limb!” but when the bullying has destroyed your entire life& all there is is pain & more pain…..
    She seems so very young & so insecure. To have been this naive points a little toward the system I so loved til 2011. Surely, an inclusion in Education could. E a course on understanding the WORKPLACE. For it is where we spend the rest of our life’s.
    I feel we let her down, INDEED, she was bullied, perhaps unable to express this to a man. & one from a culture where Emotional Outbursts/high-low are kept hidden from public eye??
    All that aside. Me, injury 2007,RTW TWARTED& difficult by principal(thank God I knew nothing of it until the ASSAULT.)
    2008- RTW BASED ON NEW GRADUATE,23/friends with dad@local club.1/3 my experienced salary.( still not aware of ANY animosity.AT ALL.
    2″09-2012-RTW-FULLTIME-still having treatments,never complained(big mistake),ran safety in my Lab( bullied & students wanting timeout/ catchup)
    3/2010-Head Teacher passes my Lab on way to Bus Duty.”hey, Chris you ok?”I’m lying on the tables, just “pulled THAT DISC”. Closing Lab Windows, I’m fine, just a twinge.”
    Apparently, not so. Pain increased and DRS ORDERS-3/4weeks rest. After 20+ interventions by the best, I did precisely as told.
    4/2010-28/03/2011-REF– USED RETURN TO WORK.( lots more but trying to keep to point)
    28/03/2011-25/05/2011-RTW PLAN COMPLETED NO PROBLEMS.
    05/05/2011-Document signed by Principal from Principal, satisfied attendance, placed in my ” pigeon hole”( letterbox) by SAM. All good. Head Teacher( very gossipy?) saw the fluoro paper on my desk(we sit adjacent):”Wow,at least he’s doing TARS this year..First time in years!” the Fellas I sharedstaffroom with are quick, opinionated and very very funny ( if you can keep up)
    Short of long, others had their fluoro too & into bottom drawer they go, to add to the mini forests we all seem to have hidden
    In our bottom drawer.
    This document, dated 04/05/2011, was prior to the ASSAULT 25/05/2011. Every member of Education Area, teachers,SED,assistants etc were aware we were given these in May 2011.(apparently) I asked in a very VERY VERY BRAVE moment about
    this document, when I was put on program, after disclosing principals ASSAULT. His response was:” I have signed off that you have NOT HAD ANY ABSENCES, that’s all.”
    When my RTW was due to commence:20/6/2012 my GP REF– USED TO COUNTER ALL MEDICOs opinion & told her:”NO, Christine has been fully fit since feb 2012, and previously, by her former GP. YOUR REQUESTED IME, fit to RTW@ any other school but where ASSAULT.
    The letter of the 04/05/2011…….SUDDENLY AFTER 15 months in public circulation is a FORGE??

    Every single NOMAD was given a print off /a summary I am a scientist after all!!!! No names no windy windy story. Set of events, actions taken results etc

    Every one said poor bloke he really should sell it to the papers!!!!!
    Haha you guys awesome I’m lower than ever so black I almost think I should never have been born.. Sorry sorry sorry I am a Christian(no laughing) but more than that I really believed I was contributing to the world to the next generation NOW IM A BLOB OF — USELESS LONRLY BROKRN WOMSN WHOSE BABY GIRL SAID ” mummy I hate this world for doing this to you!& cried so best I let it go to see your chIldren in pain BECA– USE SOME HORRID MAN ASSAULTED YOU is so horrible. I hate being me I trust, love,care but that bought pain to my baby and even though I and God know I speak truth NO ONE ELSE CARES and that’s sooo sad.


  2. Poor silly woman. What a bad decision she made. Probably because she was mentally damaged by the bullying. Just because the bullies are unfair, false, sham in their behaviours doesn’t mean their victims can be.
    Wish there was equal noise and exposure about the sham, deceitful behaviours that bullies and Workover insurers engage in against their victims.