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Adverse Action: Was the Dismissal because of Redundancy or Discrimination?

Adverse Action Lawyers advice: if you are dismissed after you exercised a workplace right, your dismissal is an adverse action

A lawyer was hired as a senior counsel. From the first few days of her working there, she noticed one partner having a drinking problem. The partner who supervised her work often came to the office disheveled and smelling of alcohol. He also held regular meetings with the staff at bars. He was often absent from work or when he appeared for work in the morning, he left for lunch and did not return. Because the partner was unavailable, the staff, especially the senior counsel had to work overtime and even during weekends to prepare matters for court. She also complained that the partner billed the firm’s clients by work performed by the senior counsel.

When the senior counsel made a formal complaint about the partner, the partner called the senior counsel and threatened her. The senior counsel re-allocated a matter to another staff member so that she did not need to work with the partner, but the partner kept calling her and discussing the matter with her. She lodged a second complaint against the partner.

Months later, the law firm informed her that an enquiry about the partner’s conduct had been initiated. The senior counsel was called to participate in the enquiry, and she attended an interview and answered questions regarding the partner’s conduct. Two months after the enquiry, she was sacked for poor performance.

An adverse action includes a dismissal or a demotion because the employee exercised a workplace right. When an employee makes a complaint about working conditions and the employee is terminated for having made the complaint, this is an adverse action. The Fair Work Act protects employees from adverse actions taken against them by their employees.

Should you wish to know if you have been a victim of an adverse action by your employer, contact any of our experienced and competent Adverse Action Lawyers who are willing and ready to help you.

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