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]

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