The Fair Work Commission has awarded an Operations Manager $27,787 in compensation following a finding that swearing at another manager was not sufficient to justify his summary dismissal.
- On or around July 2016, the Operations Manager had a heated argument with the national WHS Manager of Precepts Services Pty Limited (‘the employer’). The WHS Manager happened to be the wife of the employer’s Managing Director.
- Prior to the argument, the WHS Manager had a meeting with the Operations Manager’s son – who was employed by the employer as an apprentice electrician – in relation to concerns about his performance.
- The Operations Manager questioned why he was not invited to attend his son’s performance review meeting, and allegedly said to the WHS manager: “Your sneaky husband made that decision, did he?”
- The WHS manager asked what he had meant by “sneaky”. In response, the Operations Manager referred to a previous phone conversation between his (i.e. the Operations Manager’s) wife and the Managing Director in relation to a dispute over their son’s wages. The Operations Manager relayed that during the phone conversation, the managing director allegedly swore at the Operations Manager’s wife, saying to her “f-ck off, you do not have your facts right”, and then hung up on her.