"Daniel's father is an Australian citizen and he is of Aboriginal descent, so we argue any attempt to deport him would be unlawful. If ever there was a case for the exercise of ministerial discretion, this is the case.” Rod Hodgson via @abcnews https://t.co/BKWe2vrixV
A dramatic decline in permanent and secure employment, systemic underpayment and exploitation, and wage inequality and growth are among the many issues concerning Australian workers.
Worker exploitation: Protecting underpaid workers at 7-Eleven
When the systemic underpayment and exploitation of 7-Eleven workers was revealed by ABC’s Four Corners and Fairfax Media in 2015, the nation was aghast.
Workers had been routinely underpaid, not by accident, but by widespread doctoring and fabrication of payroll records, time sheets and rosters. There was also proof of understated wage bills, store reviews and explosive documents relating to payroll compliance from the head office of the country’s biggest convenience store chain.
In addition Maurice Blackburn lobbied the Federal Government to grant amnesty to staff who spoke up about the exploitation they had experienced, arguing that without it, workers were very scared to come forward. Protection from deportation was subsequently granted, provided those who came forward were willing to help with investigations into the exploitation.
The firm assisted many staff who made claims for backpay with the independent panel led by former Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) boss Allan Fels that was set up by 7-Eleven in September 2015. That legal assistance has continued for those seeking to be paid what they are owed since the panel was shut down in May 2016.
Maurice Blackburn has received in excess of $3 million in unpaid wages and entitlements for our clients while continuing to fearlessly pursue 7-Eleven franchisees to help recover money that is owed to the workers – including many international students – who were taken advantage of.
Class action for workers’ with intellectual disabilities
Australian workers with intellectual disabilities received backpay for unlawfully discriminatory wages, thanks to an agreement Maurice Blackburn Lawyers reached on behalf of about 10,000 workers in a class action against the Federal Government.
The Full Federal Court decided in a 2012 case that was brought against the Commonwealth by two individual workers with intellectual disabilities that using BSWAT to set the wages of intellectually disabled workers was discriminatory and contravened the Act.
Maurice Blackburn’s class action sought an end to the discrimination, and compensation for those workers who lost wages as a result of the discrimination. An agreement estimated to be worth more than $100 million was subsequently reached between the parties, which was approved by the Federal Court in December 2016.
Affected workers who registered in the class action received an amount directly from the government in a scheme administered by the government.
“Disability in the workplace is more common that people think. Over 4 million people in Australia have some form of disability and employers should be mindful of their responsibilities to support employees who have a disability. It is against the law to discriminate against employees, or potential employees, on the basis of disability and employers have an obligation to make reasonable adjustments to enable people with a disability to perform their duties.” Sarah Atkinson, Principal and Chair of our Accessibility and Inclusion Committee. Disability Action Week runs from 9 to 15 September in Queensland to raise awareness of disability issues and empower people with a disability.
We believe pokies are misleading and deceptive. They are designed with tricks that encourage addiction, like the starving of the reels:
"Large segments of Australia's workforce and institutions have been exposed in recent years for appalling rates of sexual harassment, with common themes throughout: those affected feeling that they couldn't speak out, and those with the power to help failing to act."
Liberty Sanger, Principal and Board Member Maurice Blackburn, Chair Equal Workplaces Advisory Council Victoria
“Protecting and standing up for the vulnerable through our use of the legal system can help Australian communities come to terms with the injustices of the past and present. Through recognition and compensation, those in need can also find hope for the future. But the fight is far from over.” Jennifer Kanis, Head of Social Justice
“Human rights are for all of us, every day. Let’s make these rights real in our work and interactions and not forget that it is only when we have our rights breached that human rights have the most work to do.” Jacinta Lewin, Senior Associate, Social Justice Practice #HumanRightsDay
“If we are serious about addressing violence against women and children, we must also tackle the many key social issues facing women, including gender inequality. For too many women, inequalities persist throughout their life - from childhood, to entering the workforce, starting a family, and in retirement. We must set the standard now that all forms of inequality facing women, and the attitudes and treatment of women that this inequality creates, are unacceptable in modern Australia.” Liberty Sanger, Principal and Board Member Maurice Blackburn, Chair Equal Workplaces Advisory Council Victoria
Australia has officially said YES! Now let’s make it happen.
We have filed a pro-bono class action for people seeking asylum who were detained between August 2011 and July 2017. If you were detained in an Australian immigration detention centre during this time, we encourage you to register. http://bit.ly/2mlw4Th
We have filed a pro-bono class action on behalf of asylum seekers who we allege were unlawfully detained over the past six years.
"The points that we raise in our case have never been tested by the court," Jennifer Kanis said. "This case has potentially wide-ranging implications for the way Australia detains people who are seeking asylum." More information on our website: https://www.mauriceblackburn.com.au/…/unlawful-detention-o…/
Land is very sacred in Aboriginal culture. So when the NLC tried to build a nuclear waste dump at Muckaty without all the traditional owners’ consent, they fought for their right to be heard. https://www.facebook.com/MauriceBlackburnLawyers/videos/1732108537041722/
"Our current workplace structures are failing. We’ve got to restart the conversation about employers acting with integrity." @libertysanger
From equal wages for Aboriginal stockmen in 1966, to protecting Muckaty Station from becoming a nuclear waste dump in 2014, we are proud to work with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to address injustice. #ReconciliationWeek