In 2018, the employer received an anonymous tip that a cleaning contractor with multiple years of service had been charged with varying illicit drug offences. After confirming the charges, the employer suspended the contractor until the outcome of the charges were known.
On 15 January 2019, the contractor plead guilty to all offences and was provided with a spent conviction by the Court. The offences included possession of cannabis, dexamphetamine and methylamphetamine and the intention to either sell or supply. As a result, the employer advised the contractor that the cleaning services were no longer required.
The complaint was referred to the Tribunal under s 93(1)(b) of the Equal Opportunity Act 1984 (WA). The employee alleged the employer breached workplace laws on the grounds of discriminating against an employee with a spent conviction. Protections are provided under ss 17(2) and 18(2)(c-d) of the Spent Convictions Act 1998 (WA).
The Tribunal found the employee was discriminated against from the 15 January 2019 and awarded $8,000 in compensation.
Case note: https://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/viewdoc/au/cases/wa/WASAT/2019/141.html?context=1;query=workers%20compensation;mask_path=