Employment and Labor Law

Recent amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law now place a primary duty on each party in the chain of responsibility to ensure the safe operation of heavy vehicles.

Partner, Maria Capati, and Special Counsel, Ben Motro, review these changes and what it means for the transport industry.

Recent amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law (HVNL) in Queensland from 1 October 2018, now place a primary duty on each party in the chain of responsibility (CoR) for a heavy vehicle to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety of the party’s transport activities relating to the vehicle.

This is a significant development as it now provides that heavy vehicle operators can be liable for failing to implement CoR practices, irrespective of whether an accident or incident has even occurred. For that reason, it is imperative that all parties within the chain understand the obligations imposed upon them by these amendments.

Read more: Amendments to the Heavy Vehicle National Law - Understanding your role within the Chain of...

An applicant whose claim was “doomed to fail”, and was pursued by her to inflict as much damage as possible on her former employer, has led to severe consequences when the Fair Work Commission ordered her to pay indemnity costs to her former employer.

Partner, David Ey and Senior Associate, Gemma Twemlow review the decision.

The Fair Work Commission has ordered indemnity costs against an office manager who pursued an unfair dismissal claim that was ‘doomed to fail’ and was motivated by trying to inflict maximum harm and seek revenge against her former employer.

Read more: Rubbing salt into the wound of an applicant in unfair dismissal proceedings

Before it had a chance to come into full effect, the South Australian government has announced that it is scrapping the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017.

Emily Haar, Senior Associate, reviews the announcement.   

In 2017, the then South Australian Labor Government passed the Labour Hire Licensing Act 2017 (SA) (the Act).  The Act was one of a number of similar pieces of legislation introduced in Australia as a result of a Four Corners investigation alleging the exploitation and underpayment of migrant workers in several industries including produce picking and food factory work.  The investigation revealed that migrants were being employed (and underpaid) by labour hire contractors, who then sold their employee’s labour to farms and factories at low cost.   

Read more: South Australia Leaves Labour Hire Licensing Behind

Authors: Jeremy Mittman and Erica Parks

In his final bill-signing period as governor, California Governor Edmund G. Brown signed into law numerous employment-related bills and vetoed others. One bill that passed significantly  expands the scope of required sexual harassment training for employees in California.

Currently, the relevant provisions of California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (“FEHA”), sections 12950 and 12950.1 of the California Government Code, require employers with 50 or more employees to provide sexual harassment training for all supervisory employees. SB 1343 amends these provisions, instead requiring employers of five or more employees—including seasonal and temporary employees—to provide sexual harassment training for both supervisory and non-supervisory employees by January 1, 2020.

Read more: California Expands Sexual Harassment Training For Employees

Author: Erica Parks

September 30, 2018, was the cut-off for Governor Brown to sign or veto bills passed by the California legislature this year. So it’s not surprising that that the summer months saw a flurry of employment legislation across Governor Brown’s desk.

Most significantly, the Governor vetoed AB 3080, which, as we alerted you last month, would have effectively banned non-disclosure agreements and arbitration agreements with respect to certain harassment and discrimination claims.

Nevertheless, the Governor signed into law this summer a record number of bills, many of which further regulate the workplace. Rounded up below are the most notable new employment bills signed into law, which will take effect on January 1, 2019, unless otherwise specified below:

California Legislature Amends FEHA and Expressly Affirms and Rejects Harassment Case Law

Read more: New California Employment Laws