A Perth panel beater found guilty of sacking an employee who was suffering from untreatable cancer has been ordered to pay a fine of $40,000.
The Federal Court criticized the panel beater for sacking a terminally ill employee from his Bayswater business in 2011. The aim of the sacking was to deny the man payment for sick leave.
The panel beater and his company will pay the $41,500 fine.ï¿½ This is in addition to $15,000 compensation he had paid to the employee last year.
The Fair Work Ombudsman took this employer to court in 2012 following complains of harassment leveled against him by the employee.
In his judgement, Judge John Gilmour noted that as soon as the worker was diagnosed with blood cancer, his employer started pressuring him to quit. This continued for about six weeks.
ï¿½[The employer] wanted to make it look as though the man had resigned in order to avoid paying him his accumulated personal leave,ï¿½ the court said.
In one instance, Judge Gilmour noted that the employer accused the employee of ï¿½making up his illness and then not only told him to leave, but threatened to physically throw him off the premisesï¿½.
With over 500 hours of sick leave accumulated during his nine year stint at the company, the sick worker was entitled to receive over $10,000.
According to Fair Work Ombudsman Natalie James, the conduct of Minniti was appalling.
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