Employment Law

Employment Law is a broad practice area and can at times involve unique issues in the workplace. Some of the more common issues arise in the following areas:

General Protections Disputes

Unfair dismissal

Unlawful Termination

Independent Contractors

Employment restraints and confidential information

Internal Investigations

Advocacy & Dispute Resolution

Bullying & Harassment (including sexual harassment)

What is Workplace Bullying?

A person is considered to have been bullied at work if they are subjected to repeated acts of unreasonable behaviour which create a risk to their health or safety. Whether the behaviour is unreasonable is determined by considering whether a reasonable person would consider the behaviour to be unreasonable or not.

Are There Any Exceptions Regarding Bullying?

All repeated unreasonable behaviour is considered to be bullying, however reasonable management actions regarding workplace duties, performance and disciplinary action does not amount to bullying.

What Can I Do if I’m Being Bullied?

If you believe you are being bullied there are a few different options you can consider. These options are divided into two distinct categories, internal resolution methods and external resolution methods. You can attempt to resolve the situation internally by reporting the behaviour to a manager or human resources and getting them to assist you with the problem, or by following your workplace’s bullying policy and procedures. Alternatively you can make an application to the Fair Work Commission to resolve the problem.

What is Sexual Harassment?

A person is considered to have been sexually harassed if they receive an unwelcome sexual advance or unwelcome request for sexual favours from another person, or if someone engages in unwelcome sexual conduct towards another person. The unwelcome advance or conduct must occur in circumstances where a reasonable person could have anticipated the possibility of the person taking offence, being humiliated or intimidated.

What is Conduct of a Sexual Nature?

Conduct of a sexual nature can be a large range of actions, and includes making statements of a sexual nature to other people.

What Can Steiner Legal Do for You?

At Steiner Legal we can assist you with your bullying and harassment matters through providing advice on the situation, negotiating with other parties to try and settle the matter, preparing applications for the Fair Work Commission and providing legal representation at any hearings.
For further information, or for help with your bullying/harassment matter, please contact us on (02) 9555 5595 or admin@steinerlegal.com.au

Discrimination

What is discrimination?

A person has been discriminated against when they have been treated less favourably than another person, or if following equal treatment, without consideration of a person’s circumstances, the person has been treated less favourably. Discrimination can occur either directly or indirectly.

What is the difference between direct and indirect discrimination?

Direct discrimination occurs where a person has been treated differently to another person and in an unfavourable way. Whilst indirect discrimination results from behaviour that seems to be neutral but impacts a particular group of people disproportionally.

On what grounds can I be discriminated against?

There are currently many different commonwealth provisions regarding grounds of discrimination. Some of these include gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, race and more.

What do I need to prove that discrimination has occurred?

In regards to direct discrimination, all of the commonwealth legislative provisions require proof of causation for discrimination. This means that for discrimination to have occurred you must be able to prove that you were treated differently because of an attribute you have, be it age, race, gender etc. For indirect discrimination, the legislative provisions generally require proof of some unreasonable or disproportional effect on a group of people for discrimination to have occurred.

What can I do if I’m being discriminated against?

If you feel you are being discriminated against you have two general options. First, you can try to resolve the issue internally through your workplace’s discrimination policy and procedures. If this is not possible, or doesn’t resolve the matter, you have the option of lodging a written complaint with the Australian Human Rights Commission. Following the lodging of a complaint with AHRC, the commission has powers regarding investigation and conciliation of matters and can attempt to resolve the matter. If the commission can’t resolve the matter it has the power to recommend the matter for litigation.

What remedies are available for discrimination matters?

The remedy available for a discrimination matter will differ depending on the case. Some of the remedies that can be awarded include an apology, an injunction and damages.

What can Steiner Legal do for you?

Steiner Legal can assist you with your discrimination matter by providing advice on your rights, negotiating with other parties to settle the matter, assist in the lodging of a complaint with the AHRC and provide legal representation for litigation.

For further information, or for help with your discrimination matter, please contact us on (02) 9555 5595 oradmin@steinerlegal.com.au

Disciplinary Investigations & Disputes

Redundancy

Unpaid entitlements

HR Policy Development

Steiner Legal is able to provide employers and employees assistance in relation to all of the areas listed above and other general employment matters.

 

Employers are encouraged to seek legal advice if they are considering developing an internal disciplinary policy, or taking disciplinary action against an employee that may result in the termination of their employment.

 

Developing a thorough disciplinary policy or taking a procedurally fair approach to disciplinary action will increase your chances of successfully defending any application made by an employee to Fair Work Australia or the NSW Industrial Relations Commission.

 

Employers and employees who seek the assistance of Steiner Legal, will have the benefit of many years experience in dealing with workplace investigations including highly sensitive matters, disciplinary matters and policy development.

 

There are time limitation periods that apply to most Fair Work Australia and Industrial Relations Commission applications. Legal advice should be sought from an employment lawyer at the earliest opportunity.

 

Steiner Legal is able to provide representation in both the State and Federal jurisdictions.

We are the right firm to assist you with your legal needs, ensuring you feel our high level of commitment and care while receiving accurate and superior quality legal representation.