||Issue No. 281||16 September 2005|
Interview: Polar Eclipse
Industrial: Wrong Turn
Unions: Star Support
Workplace: Checked Out
Economics: Sold Out
Politics: Green Banned
History: Potted History
International: Curtain Call
Review: Little Fish
Poetry: Slug A Worker
The Locker Room
Do the Bus Stop
A Touch of Honesty
Boss Made Me Sick
Letters to the Editor
Boss Made Me Sick
Sharon's, Melanie's and Tracey's stories are absolutely appalling and we must not allow laws to go through that allow this to become legal. Especially with the Howard's government's rhetoric of "getting sole parents and people with disabilities back to work" using "compliance measures" rather than using law to make the workforce more parent and disability-friendly so that people from these groups feel they can secure and maintain employment.
I have a similar story, although not as bad. Last year I awoke with chest pains. As they were continuing and my pulse rate was fast as well as taking into account previous palpitations I did what common medical advice states, took myself off to hospital. I was monitored and it was found that I had a heart arrhymthia. Unfortunately given Australia's decreasing medical and hospital services I was not admitted but instead referred to see a specialist who's first appointment was nearly month away.
So I went back to work. My workplace was difficult over allowing time off for these appointments and once I'd run out of the five days paid sick leave I was being docked. However at times I was required to work additional unpaid hours which I was not allowed to access when I needed the time off. It was the forced overtime and lack of flexibility that had aggravated my heart condition, however there was no workers compensation claim involved and I picked up treatment gap fees.
This employer had a habit of calling people into the office once "sick leave entitlements had been exceed", stated if this was to continue dismissal would occur over health reasons and any unpaid sick day would still require a medical certificate (with few bulk billing medical centres this was an added expense to a lost day's pay even though additional hours had been worked). Yet when I pointed out about the unpaid overtime and why we could draw on these hours I was told that it was expected.
Upon seeking legal advice, to my surprise it appeared I did not have a
strong case for disability discrimination (excuse who does the law protect if it doesn't protect you for going to hospital in an emergency or taking time off when sick) and it appeared easier to dismiss you once sick leave had run out.
Sickened by this employer's attitude I immediately scoured the papers, started applying for other jobs and was fortunate enough to secure one quickly so resigned shortly afterwards citing their inflexible and unreasonable attitude.
I wish Sharon, Melanie and Tracey the best of luck in their cases and thank them for being willing to fight such unreasonable employers.
|Search All Issues | Latest Issue | Previous Issues | Print Latest Issue|