Since the introduction of the very broad General Protections or Adverse Action rights for employees in the Fair Work Act in 2009, there has been a steady proliferation of litigation by employees claiming that the reason they have been dismissed or other action has been taken against them is because they raised a compliant or enquiry about their employment or were discriminated against. Such claims expose employers to the imposition of monetary penalties and uncapped awards of compensation in circumstances where the employer also have to satisfy a “reverse onus of proof.” That is, the employer must prove that the reason they took the action against the employee was not for a prohibited reason or otherwise discriminatory. Our team regularly advises and represents employers in defending such claims as well as advising with respect to management of workplace issues to avoid the risk of such a claim being made.

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