Adverse Action

If an employee can show that their employer took adverse action against them because of a protected attribute, then they may be able to lodge a claim with the Fair Work Commission. This is a right that applies even if the individual is a prospective employee, meaning they are still in the process of being hired for a role.

Adverse action may include an employer dismissing an employee, giving them a written warning, demoting them, or subjecting them to a performance improvement plan. It is sufficient even if any of these actions are merely threatened by the employer.

It is important to note that not all acts of treating someone differently amount to unlawful discrimination. For example, there are some instances where performance management may not be an unlawful discrimination issue. An act will only amount to adverse action when a protected attribute, such as gender, is the basis of the action taken by the employer.

You may find it challenging to determine which course of action is most appropriate for your claim. If you require assistance, McDonald Murholme is committed to providing you with answers on what avenue is best suited to your matter, along with an effective strategy to settle your dispute.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us to speak with an experienced employment lawyer today.

Our clients' satisfaction is pivotal to our own success.

  • July 2020

    I wouldn't hesitate to recommend McDonald Murholme. From the initial consultation, right through to the resolution process, the entire team was supportive, knowledgable and approachable and made what can be a difficult situation much easier. Specifically Trent and Alexandra provided a high level of service, and engaged with me in a very personable manner. I am extremely satisfied with the service I received.
  • July 2020

    I couldn't recommend the team from McDonald Murholme more. Mr Sam Nottle was efficient, professional and achieved a wonderful result. If you are questioning whether to go ahead with an employment matter legally, I would urge you to do so. The team at McDonald Murholme made the process easy & reduced all of my anxiety and stress. Thank you again, Mr Nottle & team, I can't express my appreciation enough.
  • June 2020

    I found Arthur Hambas & Katherine Boyles extremely professional & compassionate in my dealings with them. After telling Arthur that I felt the details surrounding my redundancy felt wrong he took on my case & secured me a better payout from my employer. I would not hesitate to recommend Mcdonald Murholme to anyone that has a feeling that something isn't quite right. I greatly appreciate everything you did.
  • May 2020

    Extremely happy with the service received from all the staff members i had to deal with. The lawyer allocated for my case (Michael Kriewaldt) was extremely professional and handled the case very smoothly. Highly recommend their services.
  • May 2020

    I found Arthur Hambas & Katherine Boyles extremely professional & compassionate in my dealings with them. After telling Arthur that I felt the details surrounding my redundancy felt wrong he took on my case & secured me a better payout from my employer. I would not hesitate to recommend Mcdonald Murholme to anyone that has a feeling that something isn't quite right. I greatly appreciate everything you did.
  • April 2020

    The solicitors at the firm were very prompt and actioned my complaint against my employer very quickly. I obtained the result I wanted, in fact, I got a better result than what I had originally asked for. I was very pleased with the results and would highly recommend McDonald Murholme.
  • March 2020

    I would like to say that McDonald Murholme have treated me with nothing but professionalism and also great service. Trent, a principal in the firm is attentive to your needs and will ensure your case is handled with care and mindful consideration to all parameters involved.

Adverse Action?

Speak to an employment lawyer who has acted for thousands of employees like you.

Frequently asked adverse action questions

Am I protected from adverse action if I exercise a workplace right?

Employers are prohibited from taking adverse action against an employee because of their workplace right. This includes adverse action taken to prevent an employee from exercising this right, or because they have exercised this right.

Under section 341 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth), a person has a workplace right if the person:

  • is entitled to the benefit of workplace law, workplace instrument or an order made by an industrial body;
  • has a role or responsibility under a workplace law, workplace instrument or order made by an industrial body;
  • is able to initiate or participate in a process or proceedings under a workplace law or instrument;
  • is able to initiate or participate in a process or proceedings under a workplace law or instrument;
  • is able to make a complaint or inquiry to a person or body with the capacity to seek compliance with a workplace law or instrument; or
  • is able to make a complaint or inquiry concerning his or her employment.

When will my employer be deemed to have altered my employment to my prejudice?

Adverse action occurs when your employer alters your employment to your disadvantage. Generally, this will involve conduct which negatively impacts your employment such as being issued a warning, having your shifts changed, reductions in your level of responsibility or status, suspension, or being subjected to a disciplinary process. Your employment will be deemed to have been altered to your disadvantage if it is found that:

  • a) you are in a worse position than before your employer’s acts;
  • b) the worsening of your employment was caused by your employer’s acts; and
  • c) your employer’s acts were intended by them to cause the deterioration in your employment.

When will my employer be deemed to have ‘injured’ me in my employment?

Adverse action includes when your employer has ‘injured’ you in your employment. An injury refers to the deprivation of your rights, under your contract of employment, or some sort of financial injury. This may include your employer reducing your pay, standing you down, transferring you to a different worksite or reducing your position.

Injury may also include where your employer has singled you out from other employees, such that you are treated differently from usual, in a manner which affects your employment.

Speak to an employment lawyer who has acted for thousands of employees like you.

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