Termination – Fighting

Termination – Fighting

The Fair Work Commission has reinstated a forklift driver who was involved in a fight with a colleague. They found his dismissal to be harsh given his good record over 18 years of employment as well as his relatively passive role in the altercation.

The fight occurred after the colleague persistently taunted the forklift driver by directing crying gestures and homophobic remarks at him. The company dismissed both men after an investigation by its state HR advisor, who found that they had breached the company’s code of conduct.

Comment/Lessons to learn: This shows is you need to treat every case on its own merits and you must take into account a whole range of factors before deciding to terminate an employee.

It is never clear-cut as saying, “They breached policy”. You need to look at the whole situation and seek to understand why it may have happened. If required, it is recommended you seek 3rd party advice before acting on a decision.

Michael O'Shaughnessy

Michael is a specialist in all things HR. With vast HR experience in the USA and Australia, Michael brings a wealth of knowledge and advice to HR Central. When he's not blogging for HR Central you can find him out for dinner in one of Melbourne's newest restaurants.

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