Bullying or Harassment Over a WorkCover Claim
The law is explicit in prohibiting employers from bullying, threatening or harassing workers who intend to lodge and have already made a WorkCover injury claim. Similar legal penalties apply to employers who threaten workers who complain about occupational health and safety issues at their workplace.
Section 76 of the OHS Act prohibits discrimination of employees including:
- dismissing an employee or threatening to dismiss
- injuring an employee
- altering the position of an employee to the employee's detriment or threatens to do so
- or if a prospective employer who refuses or fails to offer employment to a prospective employee or treats one prospective employee less favourably than another prospective employee would be treated in offering terms of employment.
The Act also makes clear that any employer who has been found guilty of breaching section 76 can be fined or even sentenced if they raised an issue about health and safety with their employer, with a WorkCover health and safety inspector, or a member of the organisation’s health and safety committee.
Penalties for threatening injured workers
The Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 sets out similar prohibitions and penalties for employers if they discriminate against injured workers in Victoria.
Section 578 of the Act prohibits employers from dismissing or threatening to dismiss a worker; or if that employer treats a worker less favourably than another worker by overlooking them for promotion or reemployment.