A multinational "people flow" company can require a tradesperson with severe claustrophobia to transfer from an escalator repair team to an elevator repair team, the FWC has found, while cautioning that its approach to accommodating his condition would be considered if he returned with an unfair dismissal claim.
The FWC has confirmed the right of employers in safety-critical industries to dismiss workers whose out-of-hours conduct impairs the safe performance of their duties, in the case of a flight attendant who called in sick during a layover after being hospitalised with a blood-alcohol reading of .205.
The FWC has extended time for a BHP joint venture mineworker to lodge a general protections claim challenging his sacking over a failed drug test, but has agreed there is "great weight" to the employer's view that it is essentially an unfair dismissal application in disguise.
The FWC has highlighted the additional credibility provided when employers test for drugs in accordance with the Australian Standard, in upholding a multinational mining company's sacking of a marijuana smoker who breached its zero tolerance policy.
An employer treated a long-serving worker like a "dirty rag" when it sacked her for an alleged incapacity to meet her job's inherent requirements, the FWC has found in what it describes as an "ignominiously memorable" case that provides a "strong foundation for argument against any lessening" of unfair dismissal protections.
The FWC has criticised a company for fundamental failures of due process in a dismissal overseen by its HR function and warned that treating workers as human resources runs the risk of ignoring that they are "easily damaged" human beings "and when faulty they should be handled with more care than machines".
The FWC has upheld the dismissal of a FIFO worker at Gina Rinehart's Roy Hill iron ore mine after finding his frustration over a medic's insistence that he suffered from anxiety rather than asthma did not excuse him abusing her and telling her to get some "schooling" because she was going to "kill someone".
A HR manager with an "outstanding" work record introduced an "element of tragedy" to her career when she made the "great mistake" of taking her personnel file home without permission then refused to return it, the FWC has found.