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Medical miracle or health and safety risk?

Medical miracle or health and safety risk? (Last Updated On: October 16, 2014)

A correctional officer (CO) has made a dramatic and sudden medical improvement in order to remain employed at a Victorian correctional facility. The efforts a correctional officer took to keep her job are baffling and ultimately lead to her dismissal.

The officer became injured in 2011 when she hurt her hip and shoulder in two separate accidents. Due to the injuries she sustained she worked in a modified administrative role for the next two years. This year, 2014, there were cutbacks and the correctional facility advised the worker that her administrative role had became redundant. In response to the news, the officer produced a medical certificate stating that she could ‘return to work as a CO for four hours a day with strict limitations on standing and walking time’.

The next day the employer GEO Group Australia Pty Ltd considered terminating the employee because ‘she was unable to fulfil the requirements of her pre-injury role’. GEO followed protocol and invited the employee to provide further written information on the issue before making their final decision in her dismissal. Seven days later the employee detailed in an email that her doctor had given her the “all clear”, in response GEO requested that she provide a report from her doctor explaining the sudden improvement in her health and for permission to correspond directly with her doctor to discuss her medical state.

Only days later GEO was contacted by the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) who claimed in a brief report that the employee was under no legal obligation to comply with their requests to contact the doctor.

The officers doctor provided GEO with his changed opinion on the workers fitness stating that an MRI scan of her spine ‘showed no worrying features’. However the employee was justifiably sacked due to insufficient evidence from the CPSU and lack of medical reasoning behind her miraculous recovery.

GEO Group Australia Pty Ltd followed the correct procedure and had the employee’s best interest at heart when dealing with the redundancy. Providing written statements and collating evidence when requesting doctor’s findings is the justifiable reasoning behind their decision to dismiss the employee.

If you would like to ensure that you have the backing to respectively and justifiably terminate an employee you can call Employsure for advice and knowhow. We support employers through difficult employment situations, call us today on 1300 651 415 or fill in the form below.

*Information sourced via Workplace Express.

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