Discrimination in dismissing partner

Cases

Discrimination in dismissing partner

The Qld Industrial Relations Commission has found that a retirement village (employer) discriminated against a manager on the basis of her marital status.

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12/03

 

The Qld Industrial Relations Commission has found that a retirement village (employer) discriminated against a manager on the basis of her marital status. 

The manager and her de facto partner worked as live-in managers. Both the manager and her partner were dismissed when her partner failed to notify his employer that he had given confidential documents to the Office of Fair Trading. The Office was acting on residents' complaints about the village.

Conclusion

Commissioner Fisher thought the male partner's dismissal was justified, but awarded two weeks additional payment as he had been underpaid on termination.

The Commissioner ruled that the woman's dismissal was unfair. The employer’s actions were not exempt from the Qld Anti-Discrimination Act. The employer had not established that it wanted the position to be filled by a couple. They were employed in separate and distinct roles:

‘In my view no satisfactory evidence is before the Commission that theemployer wanted the particular position to be held by a married couple ...[her] dismissal was also for an invalid reason, the Commission is able to award a penalty against the employer...'

The Commission ordered the employer pay the manager $3,549 in lost wages and a further $9,000 as compensation for her unfair dismissal based on discrimination.

See: Crossland and Milstern Retirement Services, B1108 of 2003, Wilhemina Henry & Milstern Retirement Services, B1107 of 2003 (21 November 2003).

 

 

 

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