BlandsLaw - Blog posts from OH&S
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Raising Occupational Health and Safety concerns in the workplace

Employees are well within their rights to raise occupational health and safety concerns without fear that their employment will suffer as a consequence. Under OHS laws, employers cannot dismiss, injure or alter (or threaten to) an employee in their employment to their detriment for a prohibited reason.

 

 

 

Typically, examples of injuring or altering the conditions of employment have included:

  • Demotion/ refusing promotion
  • Lower salary, increments or less rewarding bonuses
  • Allocation of work below skill/classification level
  • Fewer training opportunities
  • Job transfer

Employers who engage in these practices can face legal proceedings or even criminal prosecution and penalties if the dominant reason for their action was because of the employee’s involvement in raising health and safety concerns.

In a recent case[1], the Victorian Supreme Court has provided guidance on how OHS laws are applied when employees are discriminated against for a prohibited reason.  A group of Acme Storage employees voiced fears to their operations manager that workplace goods, which required lifting, exceeded the safe work limit of

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