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Unfair DismissalOctober 24, 2014
A security guard at Port of Brisbane has been sacked after displaying a political sign in the window of her own car. The sign grabbed the attention of her employers at the waterfront port and she was sacked. Kym Garrick’s sign read ‘Coal Dust Free Brisbane’.
Brisbane’s local community has established the ‘Shut the Gate’ campaign. The campaign encourages people to display signs on their properties and in their cars to show their support to limit coal seam gas mining. Kym Garrick’s environmental views caused tension with her employers because the port where she worked is the place where coal is transported. The result being a conflict of interest.
Garrick’s employers did not like her displaying the sign and made this very clear to her. They made several attempts to encourage her to take the sign down to which she refused. In the end her employers banned her from the site and dismissed her from her job. Garrick is suing for unfair dismissal and her argument is one of discrimination. She says that her employers breached her right to have a political view.
The case is yet to be decided however Garrick has expressed that she loved her job and unfortunately she has had to endure humiliation for sharing her views. Employers cannot discriminate against their employees’ political beliefs or actions.
Anti-discrimination policies and conflict of interest procedures need to be clearly outlined to staff in employment contracts and handbooks. Should Garrick’s employers have implemented these procedures they will have an applicable defence in the case. If you would like to review your current anti-discrimination or conflict of interest procedures call Employsure today on 1300 651 415. We can ensure that your business is protected from possible criticism from employees.
*Information sourced via The Guardian website.