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QLD EILS Seminar: Emerging Issues in Workplace Privacy
 

QLD EILS Seminar: Emerging Issues in Workplace Privacy

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Maurice Blackburn's Queensland Employment and Industrial Law Section delivered a seminar on Emerging Issues in Workplace Privacy on August 22, 2013. Topics included Surveillance in the workplace, ...

Maurice Blackburn's Queensland Employment and Industrial Law Section delivered a seminar on Emerging Issues in Workplace Privacy on August 22, 2013. Topics included Surveillance in the workplace, Privacy Laws, issues surrounding social media and more.

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  • Employee was transferred from one project to another because of a safety breach.At the new worksite he was doing a lower level role, supervised by someone doing the job he was previously doing.Before he was allowed on site he was undertaking an inductionWhile that induction was taking place, the Project Manager called out to speak to the applicant.The applicant said that he was “loud and hostile” towards him. The applicant claimed that he “needed to protect myself from this man that appeared by his actions to have issues with my presence on the project” so he taped the subsequent conversation with the Project Manager.The project manager said he didn’t raise his voice in that discussion. Later the applicant disclosed to his supervisor that he recorded all his conversations to cover his arse and told him that he just placed his phone on the desk in meetings, pressed record, and the participants were none-the- wiser. He then played the recording of the discussion with the Project Manager to which the Supervisor was not a party.He then showed the supervisor his software program that could covert these recorded conversations to text and used an example of an earlier conversation with this supervisor. The supervisor was very unhappy the conversation had been recorded without his consent and reported Mr Thompson who was dismissed.
  • Dispute started in the context of long and protracted bargaining and the Applicant providing a HR document to which he had been refused access as part of his evidence to the Court. He was then investigated for using his access as the IT guy to get the document. As part of the investigation he taped
  • This is where the risk lies. The SDP didn’t even consider if secretly recording the meetings contravened the state law in relation to covert recording.She simply found that it was sneaky, inappropriate and deliberate misconduct. There may be a different answer in a situation less contentious in terms of the relationship but she did find that termination with notice would be appropriate for provision of the document to the court and secretly tape recording the meeting.