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Workplace Relations Section Case Law Update: April 2019

Workplace Relations Section Case Law Update: April 2019

By Workplace Relations Section

Workplace Relations 


The LIV's Workplace Relations Section is pleased to introduce its first monthly case law update, providing members with a brief summary of relevant employment law and industrial relations decisions published in April 2019.

  • Ridd v James Cook University [2019] FCCA 997:

The contentious legal issue in this case was whether James Cook University (‘JCU’) breached cl.14 of the James Cook University Enterprise Agreement, headed “Intellectual Freedom”. Clause 14 provided staff of JCU the right to pursue critical inquiry, participate in public debate and express opinions about issues and ideas related to their fields of competence. The applicant, Professor Ridd, managed JCU’s marine geophysical laboratory. He criticised his colleague’s research on the impacts of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef. This was investigated under JCU’s Code of Conduct and subsequently led to the termination of Professor Ridd’s employment. The court found that the termination was unlawful. Read here.

  • Parker v Australian Building and Construction Commissioner [2019] FCAFC 56:

This case concerns a meeting and vote taken by construction workers of the CFMEU and CFMEU NSW to go on strike. This followed the suspension of a union health and safety delegate at the site of construction by Lend Lease Project Management and Construction (Australia) Pty Ltd, who were developing the building site. The Australian Building and Construction Commissioner brought a civil penalty proceeding against the union’s secretaries for contravention of ss 50, 348, 355 and 417 of the Fair Work Act. Read here.

  • Allen v Allergan Australia Pty Ltd [2019] FCCA 871

The contentious issue in this case was whether Allergan contravened s 340 of the Fair Work Act by dismissing an employee. The employee had made a complaint in relation to their employment. That is, they were being bullied and intimidated by the immediate manager. The court was not satisfied of a contravention of s 340. Read here.

  • Patrick Stevedores Holdings Pty Limited v Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union [2019] FCA 451:

This case involved two proceedings. First, it was alleged by Patrick Stevedores Holdings Pty Ltd that the CFMMEU organised and were involved in industrial action in contravention of ss 417(1), 421(1), 340(1) and 343(1) of the Fair Work Act. Second, it was alleged by Qube Logistics (NSW) Pty Ltd that the union engaged in industrial action within the meaning of s 550 of the Fair Work Act. Read here.

  • United Voice v Wilson Security Pty Ltd [2019] FCAFC 66

This case concerns the proper construction of the Security Services Industry Award 2010 in relation to overtime and its impact on penalty rates. The case can be read here.




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