Practice Area Overview:

Has adverse action been taken against you by your employer after you exercised or proposed to exercise a workplace right? We can assess if you have a claim under the general protections provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and assist you with filing a General Protections claim with the Fair Work Commission.

The general protections provisions apply to employees, prospective employees, independent contractors and prospective independent contractors, and are intended to:

  • protect workplace rights;
  • protect freedom of association;
  • provide protection from workplace discrimination; and
  • provide effective relief for persons who have been discriminated against (eg because of his or her race, gender, sexuality, pregnancy, age, disability), victimised, or have experienced other unfair treatment.

The legal meaning of ‘workplace right’ is very broad. You have workplace rights to make a complaint or enquiry about your employment (like seeking a pay rise or otherwise), insisting on being paid correctly or receiving your lawful entitlements. This can also extend to include discrimination, occupational health and safety matters, discrimination legislation, and includes any right contained within the Fair Work Act 2009 (Vic) and associated legislation and regulation.

A general protections claim may be related a dismissal, but it doesn’t have to be. An individual can still be working and use the general protections provisions to assert their rights at work.

The term ‘adverse action’ is very broad. For an action by an employer to be considered adverse, the employer must have:

  • Dismissed the employee; or
  • Injured the employee in his or her employment; or
  • Altered the position of the employee to the employee’s detriment; or
  • Discriminated between the employee and other employees of the employer.

If you have been terminated as a result of exercising a workplace right, a General Protections claim must be filed within 21 days from the date your dismissal took effect. 

General Protections are civil remedy provisions and as such, the court can award pecuniary penalties, damages for hurt, distress and humiliation, compensation for loss (including future economic loss). Compensation can be significant and it is therefore advisable to seek expert legal advice as at the earliest opportunity. 

Contact Pace & Associates Lawyers to schedule an obligation free consultation.

General Protection

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