Federal Court action begins for Tasmanian Council worker dismissed after 62 years’ service

5 November 2015
National employment law firm Maurice Blackburn has lodged Federal Circuit Court proceedings against the Launceston City Council over its treatment of an employee with nearly 62 years’ service.

Enrico Burgio, Maurice Blackburn Senior Associate says 78-year old David Flynn, a Rural Roads Coordinator with Launceston Council, was summarily dismissed in a case of age discrimination.

“Mr Flynn has shown enormous loyalty to his employer. The Council clearly searched for some time for a reason to dismiss Mr Flynn. Council even contacted his family asking when he would retire.  We allege the true reason Council dismissed Mr Flynn was because of his age, and to avoid paying him severance pay.”    

“After his dedicated service of 62 years with the Council, Mr Flynn deserved to be treated with respect and dignity. He deserves a medal for his service, not a termination letter.”  

An Australian Services Union member, Mr Flynn has been a loyal employee of Council since he was 17 when he began with then-Lilydale Council as a roustabout.  He is well-known and liked by the local community.

Richard Duffy, ASU Branch Secretary, said: “David’s position as Rural Roads Coordinator was terminated on the basis that he failed to comply with several of Council’s safety protocols.  However, the Council failed to genuinely investigate and consider all the available evidence.

“The decision comes on the back of Launceston City Council undergoing a restructure of the Infrastructure Services Directorate, which involved redundancies being offered to four employees. Council clearly wanted to prevent David being entitled to severance pay for the redundancy of his position. David wasn’t even paid his notice period.”

It is alleged the Council has breached the adverse action provisions of the Fair Work Act by dismissing Mr Flynn because of his age and to prevent him being entitled to severance pay.  It is also alleged that the Council breached Mr Flynn’s contract, by failing to pay notice of termination. Mr Flynn is seeking reinstatement, compensation and penalties against Council.    

The case is listed for a directions hearing before the Court on 15 December 2015. 

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