Case Study 1
A small private company became a client after a new employee complained of injuring herself at work in doubtful circumstances. The employee lodged a workers' compensation claim after having x-rays taken which allegedly revealed an injury. The employer attempted to place the worker on to a return to work program but the employee refused to co-operate on the basis that the trip to work was aggravating the injury.
The business owner started to feel physically ill as a result of worrying about the whole situation.
Our enquiries revealed that the employee has been to the same medical centre for x-rays a few days before the alleged accident. A comparison of the x-rays showed no difference between the 2 sets of x-rays indicating it was a pre-existing age-related degenerative injury. We were able to assist the client to have the insurer reject the claim and we then helped terminate the employee on the basis that the employee was unfit to travel to work with the employer.
The client was so relieved, she referred another 2 clients to us.
Case Study 2
An executive who had been made redundant decided to use part of his pay-out to purchase a business. His sons would work in the family business and in turn help fund his and his wife's retirement. Two of the previous owners agreed to stay on as employees. Unfortunately, nothing was committed to writing about the intended length of the employment for the former owners.
After a while, the new owners determined that the business wasn't as profitable as it had been made out and drastic changes were required. The redundant father executive had to go back to work elsewhere to fund the business debt and the former owners were ultimately terminated as the sons took over the running the business full time.
The former owners then took unfair dismissal actions against the new owners, claiming 6 months damages plus substantial back pay for unpaid leave entitlements. It was at this point that the new owner became a client of ours.
We tried to negotiate a reasonable financial settlement but the dismissed employees wouldn't budge, each claiming over $30,000 in unpaid entitlements and damages. We were ultimately successful in having one claim dismissed on the basis that the dismissed worker lied about the length and nature of their employment history. The other employee settled for an acceptable amount.
Case Study 3
An agency temp who appeared to be a good worker was offered a fulltime job by a kind-hearted western suburbs manufacturer. However, the employee quickly degenerated into a troublesome employee, using up all his sick leave with frequent short term absences and abusing the employer's good nature and lack of sophisticated disciplinary procedures.
When warned by the employer about his excessive sick leave usage, the employee then suddenly started suffering numerous alleged workplace injuries and went off on workers' compensation instead. When the employer attempted to speak to the employee about this and other performance issues, he walked out claiming he was suffering "workplace stress" because of the "constant harassment" he was receiving from his supervisor.
We assisted the employer by meeting with the employee (and his lawyer) and the employee's supervisor and charted a clear course for improved performance, issuing a clear warning for improved attendance and not leaving the workplace in the future without the supervisor's permission.
The employee improved for a while, but then unfortunately relapsed. We were able to assist the employer to terminate the employee without much protest.
Our client was grateful for our active involvement and leadership through the whole disciplinary process and in finally assisting in terminating the employee.
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