IBM integrator caught in unfair dismissal test case

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IBM integrator caught in unfair dismissal test case

The company that also maintains HP and Sun faces financial penalties.

An IBM authorised partner faces financial penalties of at least $33,000 after becoming one of the first businesses in Australia to test recent changes to Federal workplace laws.

Total Risc Technology, a systems integrator based in Sydney's north that employs 150 people nationwide, declined to comment to CRN.

But in a Herald Sun report, one of the company's former salesmen of almost two years, Andrew Mead, 30, alleged the channel partner's managing director abused him in email and voice messages.

Mead alleged that the managing director forced him to quit after Mead complained.

Mead alleged his boss took exception to Mead arranging his iPhone plan on company time.

Mead said in response that he had not taken a lunch break that day for which the Herald Sun reported he allegedly "copped a spray".

A conciliation hearing today at the Fair Work Australia tribunal failed to reach an outcome with the matter now expected to end up in court.

The lawyer representing Mead, Maurice Blackburn partner Josh Bornstein, told CRN he would issue court proceedings "within a couple of weeks".

"[But] a full hearing might not take place for six months," Bornstein said.

Total Risc Technology could be forced to pay $33,000 a contravention of the workplace laws if it is found guilty.

It could also be forced to pay additional compensation to Mead.

The Federal Government's Fair Work laws prevent dismissal of an employee for "filing a complaint or proceedings against an employer".

Bornstein said businesses needed to be more aware of these changes to the Fair Work Act.

"Work Choices has been superseded and a whole series of new workplace rights have been introduced," Bornstein said.

"One of the most profound changes is the right to make a complaint to your employer about a workplace matter without being sacked or otherwise harmed.

"If as an employee you are sacked or harmed because of the fact you made a complaint you have legal rights. An employer who does [sack or harm an employee in that situation] exposes themselves to liability."

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