News Article



Don’t get angry – workplace aggression and the Fair Work Commission

Recent cases suggest being involved in a workplace physical or verbal altercation doesn’t automatically validate termination. However, employers are expected to meet a high standard with investigating and managing aggression in the workplace.

In Phillip Coffey v QBar Darwin Pty Ltd [2017] FWC 4312, an employer stopped giving shifts to a casual supervisor after he was overheard saying his manager "can be a racist b****".  The Fair Work Commission (FWC) found that this amounted to unfair dismissal.

The employer first reduced and then stopped offering the supervisor shifts, before the supervisor began unfair dismissal proceedings.

In deciding the claim, Commissioner Bissett found the supervisor's actions were inappropriate and unprofessional, and warranted reproach and warning, but not dismissal.