A 40-year-old Dandenong man has won his battle to keep his long-term job with cardboard giant Visy, with the company late today backing down on its threats to sack the veteran employee.
Acting for Mr Agron Rexhepi, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers today won in its bid to get him back to work and save him from termination, with Visy backing down on the eve of a Federal Court hearing tomorrow.
Lawyer Josh Bornstein, principal in the employment division of Maurice Blackburn, said Visy quickly retreated from its previous position that Mr Rexhepi was not fit for work.
"This was a baffling case of direct discrimination where Visy cited Mr Rexhepi as being incapable of performing the duties of his former role - totally ignoring that he has been in a new and entirely different position since 2011," Mr Bornstein said.
"Today the company made its first sensible decision in this whole saga, agreeing to our demands that Mr Rexhepi can return to work and continue to earn a living for his family in the role he has been performing well for years.
"We are very pleased to say that Mr Rexhepi will now return to work this Wednesday."
National Secretary of the Print Division of the Australian Manufacturing Workers Union, Lorraine Cassin, said Mr Rexhepi had a long and unblemished record at Visy since 1996, and should have been treated better by his employer.
"This case highlights that no matter how large and powerful an employer is, the mistreatment of employees should not be tolerated in workplaces," Ms Cassin said.
"Mr Rexhepi deserves this outcome, but he did not deserve to be put in this situation by his employer, nor did he deserve the stress this has inflicted upon him and his family."