The Fair Work Ombudsman is conducting an investigation into the dismissal of a teenager from her job in Canberra after her boss cited the teen’s opposition to same-sex marriage as the reason why she was “let go”.
The workplace investigator told Business Insider: “The Fair Work Ombudsman is aware of this matter and in order to form an assessment as to whether any workplace laws have been breached will be contacting the parties involved as part of its inquiries.”
The teen, known as Madeline, had been working for her former boss, Madlin Sims, for two shifts before she was sacked for expressing her opposition to marriage equality on Facebook.
Sims has defended her actions saying that “Advertising your desire to vote no for SSM is, in my eyes, hate speech.”
“Voting no is homophobic,” she wrote on Facebook.
“Advertising your homophobia is hate speech. As a business owner I can’t have somebody who publicly represents my business posting hate speech online.”
Madeline says she should not have been fired for her opinion on the issue.
There are some questions around whether or not the ombudsman has jurisdiction if the teen was only contractor.
According to Fair Work, discrimination occurs in the workplace when an employer fires an employee because of a protected attribute such as religion or political opinion.
Unfair dismissal is when an employee is dismissed from their job in a harsh, unjust or unreasonable manner.
Employees have to apply to the Commission within 21 days of the dismissal taking effect.
Any employer or worker seeking advice or assistance, can contact the Fair Work Ombudsman via its website or by calling the Fair Work Infoline on 13 13 94.
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