What is my General Protections Case Worth?

How Much Is My General Protections Case Worth

There is no limit to what your claim may be worth, it's important to review the decisions of the courts.
The Quickest Way to Get an indication of your cases worth is to speak to a representative on 1800 333 666

GENERAL PROTECTIONS CASES

There is no limit as to how much you can claim for a general protections dismissal.
It is dependant upon the case precedent and what the judge decides at the federal court or the federal circuit court. As a rule of thumb:

The following general protection cases as of 2020 will provide you a better indication of what your general protections claim may be worth.

Roohizadegan v TechnologyOne Limited (No 2) [2020] 1407 (2 October 2020)

Federal Court orders $5 million-plus Compensation for a General Protections
/ Adverse Action Claim

In a significant general protections ruling, the Federal Court has today ordered a large public enterprise software company, TechnologyOne to pay more than $5.2 million in compensation, damages and penalties to a senior executive sacked after he made bullying and other complaints.

Justice Duncan Kerr, in a judgment of about 300 pages, found that the employee had established that by dismissing him, took adverse action against him because he exercised a workplace right when he complained multiple times about bullying.

He ordered TechnologyOne Limited to pay the former employee $2,825,000.00 for his future economic loss, $756,410 to compensate his forgone share options, $1,590,000 in damages for breach of contract, $10,000 in general damages and $47,000 in penalties.

The lawyers, which represented the employee, said it believes the payout is a record for such a case in the Fair Work division of the Federal Court. In setting penalties, which included $7000 against the company’s executive chair/chief executive, Justice Kerr said he “twice rejected professional HR advice” that it would be unfair the employee “on the basis of mere allegations”.

“In the end, [the chief executive’s] choice was to stand with the bullies rather than the bullied ” To achieve effective deterrence, CEOs in like positions need to know that such temptations as he faced are to be resisted: and that there will be a not insubstantial price for failing to do so” He found the executive chair accessorily liable.

Finally a decision that sends a strong message to companies and directors that if you do the wrong thing, then you will pay the price. That dismissals that are essentially illegal, by breaching the Fair work Act, cannot be enacted by employer with little consequences, by paying or getting awarded against them a bit of “go away money”.

The Quickest Way to Get an indication of your cases worth is to speak to a representative on 1800 333 666

Mrs On Ni Liu v Compuworld Pty Ltd (C2019/2083)

Arbitrator: Deputy President Asbury

Date: 22 May 2020

Grounds of discrimination:

  • Pregnancy
  • Disability (gestational diabetes, resulting from pregnancy)

Exercise of a workplace right:

  • Taking personal leave to attend medical appointments

Adverse action:

  • Termination, as a purported redundancy

The Applicant, Ms On Ni Liu, was employed by the Respondent, Compuworld Pty Ltd, in the full-time position as Receptionist/Accounts since September 2008 until November 2018. The Applicant was pregnant and was suffering from gestational diabetes as a result. The Applicant inquired about her entitlement to take sick leave to attend scheduled medical appointments for her pregnancy and resulting diabetes.

Soon after, the Applicant was given a letter stating that she was being terminated due to redundancy. Although the letter stated that the redundancy was due to a downturn in sales, the Applicant argued that she was dismissed because she had exercised her workplace right to enquire about her leave entitlements and because of her pregnancy and physical disability (gestational diabetes). Additionally, the Applicant believed she was dismissed because she would have taken maternity leave soon.

The matter was not resolved at conciliation and proceeded to arbitration, where Deputy President Asbury found that the Respondent contravened the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and ordered the Respondent to pay the Applicant compensation as follows:

Compensation:

  • $5,768.00 for past economic loss for two months
  • $13,330.80 for loss of entitlement to Commonwealth Government paid maternity leave scheme
  • $15,934.10 for future economic loss
  • $2,061.70 in superannuation contributions for past and future economic loss.

TOTAL: $37,094.60 (subject to applicable taxes).

Lynn Masson-Forbes v Gaetjens Real Estate Pty Ltd (C2015/1507)

Arbitrator: Commissioner Wilson

Date: 26 June 2015

Exercise of a workplace right:

  • Temporary absence for illness or injury
  • Protection of industrial activity

Adverse action:

  • Performance warning
  • Changed work conditions
  • Dismissal, either through forced resignation or the Respondent ending the Applicant’s employment two months earlier than in her resignation.

The Applicant, Ms Lynn Masson-Forbes was employed by the Respondent, Gaetjens Real Estate Pty Ltd, in the position of ‘General Manager Retirement Services’. In May 2014, the Applicant became ill, subsequently resulting in her being away from work until November 2014.

Almost immediately after returning to work, the Applicant was given a performance warning, even though she had validly not been working for the past six months due to her illness. Significant changes were also made to the Applicant’s working arrangements, including changes to: her office area, the reporting arrangements of sales staff who had previously reported to her, directions about how she was to work, performance expectations, refusing to permit her to attend union meetings.

As a result of the adverse action she experienced upon returning to work, consisting of her changed work conditions and performance warning, the Applicant had no other choice but to resign from her employment. The Applicant’s absence was partly for psychological or psychiatric illness, and the treatment to which she was subjected upon returning exacerbated her condition. The Applicant resigned on 24th November 2014, stipulating that she would cease employment on 30th January 2015. However, the Respondent concluded her employment on 1st December 2014, almost two months earlier. In terminating her employment early, the Respondent took further adverse action against the Applicant.

Compensation:

  • $17,451.00 for economic loss (lost remuneration)
  • $3,000.00 for non-economic loss (hurt, humiliation and distress). 

Bree Dargan v Winnaa Pty Ltd (C2017/371)

Date: 12 September 2018

Compensation:

  • $5,000 for non-economic loss
  • $15,219.75 for economic loss.

https://www.fwc.gov.au/documents/decisionssigned/html/2018fwc5692.htm

Shackley v Australian Croatian Club Ltd [1995] IRCA 475

Industrial Relations Court of Australia

Judges: Wilcox CJ, von Doussa and North JJ 

Discrimination:

  • Race

Adverse action:

  • Termination

The Respondent dismissed the Applicant for not being Croatian, thereby discriminating against her on the basis of race.

Compensation:

  • $12,100 for loss.

Pavolvich v Atlantic Contractors Pty Ltd [2012] FMCA 1080

Discrimination:

  • Disability (illness)

Adverse action:

  • Termination

The Applicant was terminated from his employment because “he was always sick”. Illness was deemed to be a disability, upon which grounds the Applicant was discriminated against in being terminated.

Compensation:

  • $16,500 paid to the Union as a pecuniary penalty.
Find out whether you can win your case today 1800 333 666

Stephens v Australian Postal Corporation [2011] FMCA 448

Federal Court of Australia

Judge: Rares J 

Discrimination:

  • Disability

Adverse action:

  • Termination 

The Applicant was terminated from his employment due to his disability of a lumbar spine injury, which he had incurred at work. The Respondent argued that the Applicant was terminated due to poor performance, but it was clear that the Respondent knew of the Applicant’s injury and discriminated against him on this basis in terminating him.

Compensation:

  • $25,000 paid to the Applicant as a pecuniary penalty.

Wilkie v National Storage Operations Pty Ltd [2013] FCCA 1056

Date: 9 August 2013 

Federal Circuit Court of Australia

Discrimination:

  • Family or carer’s responsibilities

Exercise of a workplace right:

  • Taking personal leave

Adverse action:

  • Written warning
  • Transfer of location to her disadvantage
  • Forced resignation

The Applicant left work early to pick up her son from school, in line with her family or carer’s responsibilities. However, upon returning to work, she received a warning letter. The Applicant’s employment was also transferred to another location further from her home. Eventually, the Respondent’s conduct was such that it effectively ended the employment relationship between the Applicant and the Respondent, leaving the Applicant with no other choice but to resign.

Compensation:

  • $32,130.78 for loss.

National Tertiary Education Union v Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology [2013] FCA 451

Federal Court of Australia

Judge: Gray J

Exercise of a workplace right:

  • Making complaints about a supervisor

Adverse action:

  • Redundancy

The Applicant had made several complaints about her supervisor’s behaviour. As a result, the Respondent made the Applicant redundant.

Compensation:

  • $37,000 as a pecuniary penalty.

Hall v City Country Hotel Management Pty Ltd & Ors (No. 2) [2014] FCCA 2317 

Federal Circuit Court of Australia

Exercise of a workplace right:

  • Making complaints about underpayment

Adverse action:

  • Stopped receiving casual shifts

The Applicant was employed as a bartender in a casual position. The Applicant complained about being underpaid, and as a result, the Respondent stopped giving the Applicant shifts.

Compensation: 

  • $8,120.08 for unpaid wages and superannuation.
  • $2,500.00 as damages for distress, hurt and humiliation.
  • $685.07 as interest.
Do you think you have a case? Find out now if you do. Call 1800 333 666

Lamont v University of Queensland (No 2) [2020] FCA 720

Federal Court of Australia

Judge: Rangiah J

Exercise of a workplace right

  • Making a complaint about the conduct of a colleague

Adverse action:

  • Threatened investigation into the Applicant’s conduct

Industry:

  • Higher Education

The Applicant was a lecturer at the University of Queensland. On 12th April 2010, the Applicant exercised his workplace right to make a complaint about Professor Moore, who was also employed by the University.  Professor Moore subsequently took adverse action against the Applicant by informing two other professors of the contents of the Applicant’s complaint. As a result, the University took further adverse action against the Applicant on 8th July 2010 by threatening to commence an investigation into his conduct.

Compensation:

  • $15,000 for mental and emotional distress resulting from contravention of general protections laws.
  • No compensation was awarded for any economic loss.

Kassis v Republic of Lebanon (2014) 282 FLR 408

Judge: Raphael J

Exercise of a workplace right:

  • Taking sick leave

Discrimination:

  • Sex
  • Marital status
  • Temporary absence from work

Adverse action:

  • Termination

Industry:

  • Foreign Consulate

The Applicant, Mrs Kassis, was a consular employee working at the Sydney Consulate of the Republic of Lebanon from January 2005 until February 2011. There were constant issues with non-payment or underpayment of the Applicant’s wages and legal entitlements throughout her employment, which she was ultimately entitled to recover through her legal action, along with compensation for breaches of the general protections laws. After falling ill due to stress from her workplace, the Applicant exercised her workplace right to take sick leave, as authorised by a medical certificate. The Applicant was duly dismissed.

Compensation:

  • $50,000 in damages in response to the employer’s conduct
  • $333,296.42 for loss of future earnings
  • $64,889.90 for underpayment of wages
  • $24,234.79 for non-payment of superannuation
  • $5,555.66 for underpayment of annual leave entitlements
  • $3,421.38 for leave loading entitlements
  • $4,513.52 for non-payment of long-service entitlements
  • $4,234.50 for non-payment of notice upon termination
  • $20,000 in interest.
The Quickest Way to Get an indication of your cases worth is to speak to a representative on 1800 333 666
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