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Unfair Dismissal vs Civil Damages Against Previous Employer?

Discussion in 'Employment Law Forum' started by Jeffery Michael, 7 November 2014.

  1. Jeffery Michael

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    I have what I believe to be an extremely strong case for Unfair Dismissal and am likely to file very soon.

    However the maximum restitution available to me under the Fair Work Australia system doesn't come close to adequately compensating me for the effect on my future earnings and career prospects that have arisen from the termination itself and its effect on my excellent professional reputation within my tight-knit industry.

    Further to that my ex-employer's actions in the immediate aftermath of the dismissal have had a severely detrimental effect on my chances of gaining work within my field - and seemingly destroyed any chance of earning a role equivalent to the one I have lost.

    This is not to mention the devastating effect it has had on my family and our plans for the immediate future.

    Basically my question is: if I choose to file and win - either in mediation or court - does this action negate the possibility of taking secondary action to try to gain adequate compensation for the ongoing impact my former employer's actions have had on my career and life in general?

    I am not saying I will definitely file a damages claim but would like to know all my options before proceeding with any action .

    Any advice you can provide is greatly appreciated, thanks in advance.
     
  2. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    Suspect you need an employment lawyer to discuss your case in more detail. Based on your post you may have two courses of action, first is unfair dismissal probably best done through the Fair Work Commission, and another civil action based on damages to your reputation/defamation and future earnings.
     
    Jeffery Michael likes this.
  3. Paul Cott

    Paul Cott Well-Known Member

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    Jeffrey,

    If you do initiate an unfair dismissal claim and 'win' at conciliation (by obtaining a settlement) or at arbitration (hearing) then generally you would be precluded from another action as you would normally enter into a deed of release preventing all and any further claims. So you are usually best to decide between the two.

    Hope that helps. But yes see a lawyer as there are many variables such as costs, outcome, process, time frame etc etc that can affect the choice you make.
     
  4. Jeffery Michael

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    Thanks Paul,

    I appreciate you taking the time to reply.

    It's a little frustrating that the law is set up this way as I only want the option available depending on what my circumstances are at the time of settlement or hearing. Of course my hope is that by the time we reach that point I have gained employment in a dream job somewhere and am more than happy to have my name cleared and am fairly compensated (albeit within the imposed limitations) so everyone can move on. But I do feel that the option to file further action would be nice given I am the one who has been unlawfully dealt with and it is hard to predict how long the effects of that action will impede my future earnings and career prospects.

    Oh well, I guess that's why they say "the law is a donkey". Or something.

    Thanks again Paul
     
  5. Rod

    Rod Well-Known Member

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    BTW, you only have 21 days from the date of dismissal to initiate a claim for unfair dismissal.
     

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