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Unfair DismissalJuly 23, 2015
Linfox has successfully won an unfair dismissal dispute due to following the correct employment procedure. Dealing with the dismissal of a difficult employee is never an easy feat. However following the correct procedure when significant misconduct occurs, termination can be justified.
Mr James Tolevsky was fired from his job at a Linfox distribution centre in regional Victoria after Linfox was unaware of his whereabouts whilst at work. Mr Tolvesky was found in the lunch room instead of the factory floor, claiming he was suffering from back pain. Mr Tolevsky did have a prior work injury and was on a return to work plan. Linfox stated that if he was suffering he should have been in the designated first aid area instead of being unaccounted for.
Following the incident, Mr Tolevsky was invited to a disciplinary meeting with his team manager and shift manager, where he was offered the chance to discuss the incident. However, in the meeting, Mr Tolevsky became agitated and behaved poorly in front of management. In an aggressive manner, he treated to take stress leave and questioned the intelligence of his superiors. A termination letter was sent to Mr Tolvesky following the disciplinary meeting, outlining his abusive manner and failure to meet Linfox’s request to calm down during the meeting.
Mr Tolevsky filed for an unfair dismissal claim which was taken to the Fair Work Commission. Commissioner Wilson ruled that Linfox provided adequate evidence of Mr Tolevsky’s abusive, vulgar words and negative workplace performance. Commissioner Wilson took into consideration that Mr Tolevsky was issued with a written warning regarding his poor performance and he was aware that his employment future at Linfox was uncertain.
Commissioner Wilson stated that the dismissal was not deemed to have been harsh, unjust or unreasonable.
This case highlights the importance of having the correct procedures in place when dealing with an employment dispute.
If you are an employer and wish to implement or discuss an employee performance management process, call Employsure today on 1300 651 415. We can advise you on all matters relating to workplace policies, procedures and safeguards.
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