Protecting your trade secrets when employees leave

By Margaret Miller • In Employment LawComments Off on Protecting your trade secrets when employees leave

Employee trade secret theft is becoming a serious threat for employers, as evidenced by the increasing number of cases before the courts dealing with such conduct. Often the problem could have been avoided by forward planning by the employer. It is wise to have an action plan in place to

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Sham Contracting: The Fair Work Ombudsman now targeting advisers

By Margaret Miller • In Dispute Resolution, Employment LawComments Off on Sham Contracting: The Fair Work Ombudsman now targeting advisers

The Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has warned it will pursue anyone involved in sham contracting arrangements to ensure employees are paid. This includes the employer, Human Resources managers and other advisers. In a recent speech by Natalie James, lawyers at the Law Institute of Victoria Workplace Relations Conference were told

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The High Court finds employer liable for employee’s intentional criminal acts

By Margaret Miller • In Employment Law, LitigationComments Off on The High Court finds employer liable for employee’s intentional criminal acts

On 5 October 2016 in Prince Alfred College Incorporated v ADC [2016] HCA 37, the High Court confirmed that, in special cases, employers can be vicariously liable for intentional criminal acts of their employees. Employers can be vicariously liable for the harmful acts of their employees done within the course of their employment,

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Recent cases provide a further warning on underpayment penalties for Employers

By Margaret Miller • In Employment Law, LitigationComments Off on Recent cases provide a further warning on underpayment penalties for Employers

So far in 2016, the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) has been in the news for successfully prosecuting several companies for unlawful underpayments to employees. The courts are imposing record penalties on companies and their directors. The FWO published an open letter on the FWO website, warning companies and directors of

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Legislative changes to the effect of indemnity clauses in service agreements

By Margaret Miller • In Dispute Resolution, Employment LawComments Off on Legislative changes to the effect of indemnity clauses in service agreements

Contractual indemnities appear in many services agreements, including subcontracting, labour hire and wet plant hire agreements. Indemnity clauses move liability from one party to another by requiring one party to indemnify the other. The usual type of indemnity arises where one party agrees to indemnify another party for all liability

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The Court gets tough on directors who underpay staff

By Margaret Miller • In Employment LawComments Off on The Court gets tough on directors who underpay staff

Judge Jarrett of the Federal Circuit Court has imposed record penalties and a precedent-setting court order for a businessman to personally back-pay employees following the “calculated and deliberate” underpayment of Gold Coast security guards. The penalties, totalling $308,400, were the highest gained by the Queensland Fair Work Ombudsman. Owen Ivor

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7-Eleven store owner ordered to pay record $400,000 in fines for underpaying staff

By Lucille Moala • In Employment LawComments Off on 7-Eleven store owner ordered to pay record $400,000 in fines for underpaying staff

A Brisbane 7-Eleven store owner and his company have been fined in excess of $400,000 after being found to have underpaid staff. Judge Michael Jarrett of the Federal Circuit Court ordered Sheng-Chieh Lo to personally pay $68,058 and his company to pay $340,290 in fines. The court heard that 12

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EMPLOYERS FACE “UBER” PROBLEMS

By Rob Ffrench • In Employment LawComments Off on EMPLOYERS FACE “UBER” PROBLEMS

There has been a huge growth in the “sharing economy” in the last 12 months.  Two obvious examples are UberX and Airbnb. The huge uptake of both services shows a vote of confidence by much of the population in their safety and efficiency.  However lawyers are advising that employers who

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Domestic violence in the workplace – where the parties to an order work together

By Margaret Miller • In Employment Law, Family LawComments Off on Domestic violence in the workplace – where the parties to an order work together

Domestic violence is an issue receiving increasing publicity and attention. A recent case in the Fair Work Commission (FWC) illustrates that acting to the detriment of domestic violence victims will result in employers being dealt with before the tribunal. A company director dismissed a woman whose partner worked in the

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Is the sick leave genuine? Challenging a medical certificate

By Margaret Miller • In Employment LawComments Off on Is the sick leave genuine? Challenging a medical certificate

Under the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FWA), an employee can take sick leave if they are not fit for duties because of personal illness or injury, but the employee must comply with the notice and evidence requirements in s107 of the FWA. An employee must provide the employer with notice “as

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