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Company loses out for firing brawling employees

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HC Online | 15 Oct 2013, 12:01 AM Agree 0
A recent decision by the Fair Work Commission has seen an organisation lose out after dismissing an employee involved in a fight.
  • RivercityIR | 15 Oct 2013, 02:32 PM Agree 0
    Well...another botched investigation and employee termination costing an employer dearly....Seems to be far to common occurrence these days.
  • The HR Investigator | 15 Oct 2013, 03:29 PM Agree 0
    I concur with RivercityIR's comments. This outcome would have been oh so easy to avoid if the employer had conducted a proper workplace investigation.
  • Craig Dandeaux | 15 Oct 2013, 03:48 PM Agree 0
    Where was their front line leaders training, where were their policy and procedure, where was their communications systems and WHERE WAS HR? So many unemployed HR specialists and so many uninformed employees! When will they ever learn.
  • David | 15 Oct 2013, 03:56 PM Agree 0
    Just wondering why a criminal investigation wasn't conducted. I thought that it was still illegal to assault people?

    Anyway, having to pay two weeks wages as penalty doesn't seem that they were being overly harsh to the employer.... some might even say that the penalty was so low that the FWC were siding with the employer in this case.
  • Michael | 16 Oct 2013, 07:30 AM Agree 0
    A thorough investigation is what is expected in any incident/event. The HR takeaways are cocise and well stated.
  • Bernie Althofer | 16 Oct 2013, 09:49 AM Agree 0
    Rule one. Have a documented policy and procedure regarding investigation processes and procedures
    Rule two. Ensure employees at all levels are trained
    Rule three. Conduct periodic audits or reviews to determine level of knowledge and understanding of policy and procedure and currency of knowledge
    Rule four. Conduct regular audit or review of policy and procedure to maintain currency
    Rule five. Review complaint data on a regular basis
  • Juliana | 16 Oct 2013, 06:07 PM Agree 0
    OK the employer didn't investigate properly,however does not detract from the fact an assault happened. It's probably a small family run business with no budget for HR.
  • kevin | 17 Oct 2013, 02:54 PM Agree 0
    I wonder if anyone has even thought of the trauma and impact upon the supervisor his colleagues and family as a consequence of this assault. If you have ever been near one you would have automatic support for the supervisor and management people. I agree that the business was probably not big enough to have a dedicated HR team. So have a little sympathy for those in the front line. Its oh so safe from behind a desk and viewing the incident from afar and in hindsight.
  • CMIB | 07 Feb 2014, 04:52 PM Agree 0
    Businesses should be considering Management Liability insurance for this exact situation.
  • Leanne Faraday-Brash | 10 Feb 2014, 06:13 PM Agree 0
    If Ms. Kaplan hadn't sacked the two employees who allegedly assaulted a supervisor we would have accused her of a worse crime, going soft on violence at work. However, even small companies with no adequate HR have to bear in mind the responsibility to give anyone accused of misconduct an adequate opportunity to respond. Losing their jobs and being recompensed two weeks' pay was the smallest of awards for reportedly unacceptable conduct. The FWC is obliged to emphasize procedural fairness when employers deal with even serious or seemingly open and shut cases. I hope the company provided an offer of tangible support to the supervisor too.
  • caca | 11 Feb 2014, 02:42 PM Agree 0
    Let's be honest, you punch someone in the head - you're going to get fired. What response are you really going to have? There's really no justification for a workplace brawl.
  • Bernie Althofer | 12 Feb 2014, 10:45 AM Agree 0
    Caca, If only that happened all the time. Sometime ago I was made aware of two employees who had a disagreement that resulted in one person trying to strangle the other. Result - organisation told to 'sort it' out themselves. No person dismissed.
    Two employees in another organisation had a disagreement - one grabbed the other around the throat - not dismissed. Various forms of training to be implemented.
  • David | 12 Feb 2014, 12:58 PM Agree 0
    Its a crazy world when someone thinks that is okay to punch a supervisor and is defendable because there wasn't a detailed investigation or policy in place.
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