An employee who was sacked for failing to complete a workplace assessment following an accident has succeeded in his adverse action claim and was awarded over $100,000.
Sacked for failing to complete a workplace assessment following an accident
The injured worker was a train driver who had suffered post-traumatic stress disorder and depression following the train accident in which he was involved. The Federal Circuit Court found that the sacking was “clearly deliberate” and for a prohibited reason, accepting that the driver was in a vulnerable state, being sick and anxious following the accident, hence why he was unable to complete the workplace assessment.
The injured worker had initially sought reinstatement to the position but later claimed and was successful in obtaining compensation and a $5,000 pecuniary penalty against the company.
The Federal Circuit Court awarded the injured worker six months’ lost wages, plus a significant award of $25,000 for “distress, hurt and humiliation” arising from his dismissal. In deciding the penalty, the judge commented that “there is certainly a need to send a clear message to this employer and others, that employees/injured workers should only have their employment terminated for proper and lawful reasons. If the employer does not have a proper reason, the employer should expect an appropriate penalty for this unlawful conduct.”
[Based on Source: http://www.mondaq.com/australia/x/273196/employee+rights+labour+relations/100000+Adverse+Action+Award+To+Dismissed+Employee+Sends+Clear+Warning+To+Employers]