At times, unpleasant issues can arise in the workplace. Some of these issues can affect a person emotionally and reduce performance at work. When they’re severe, they can even lead to job loss.

While most employers have mechanisms of addressing workplace challenges internally, the internal procedures don’t always work – especially when the employers are the perpetrators. When the internal mechanisms fail, it’s important to seek out employment lawyers in Melbourne to help you seek redress in court. Below are five workplace challenges that an employment lawyer can assist with.

Wrongful Termination

In most employment agreements in Australia, the employer has the right to terminate employees to protect their interests. For example, an employer can terminate employees due to serious misconduct or loss of business. Nevertheless, the employer must not break labour laws when firing you. For example, if there was a written or implied assurance of continued employment, the employer should not terminate you.

For written job security assurances, the case is easy to prove as they’re found in job contracts and letters of offer. An implied assurance is when the employer’s actions or words seem to guarantee you job security. For example, if you’ve worked in that company for many years, you can argue that there was implied job security.

Examples of wrongful termination include:

  • Your employer fires you despite assuring you job security
  • Your employer fires you without giving you sufficient notice
  • Your employer makes the working conditions unbearable to make you quit

Workplace Retaliation

Your employer may retaliate if you make formal complaints or participate in a work-related investigation. They might demote you or make your work more difficult. Fortunately, employment lawyers in Melbourne can help protect you from any retaliatory acts by your employer.

Discrimination at Work

Protected characteristics should never be the basis of hiring, promoting, evaluating or firing employees. Instead, these processes should be based on merit. It’s illegal to discriminate against employees based on protected characteristics such as race, sex, gender, disability, family status and religion.

Examples of discriminatory acts include:

  • Paying employees with similar roles different salaries
  • Prohibiting specific groups of people from applying for job positions
  • Preventing certain classes of people from using company facilities

If you’re a victim of discrimination at work, employment lawyers in Melbourne can defend your rights.

Hostile Workplace

A hostile workplace is an environment in which an employee can’t perform their duties effectively. In most cases, workplaces become hostile due to harassment and discrimination. Sexual harassment is one of the most common forms of workplace harassment.

Other factors that can make workplaces hostile include:

  • Insults, ridicule and slurs
  • Offensive utterances
  • Physical assaults, threats and intimidation
  • Interference with a worker’s duties

Overtime Compensation

You deserve compensation for every hour worked outside your regular work hours or beyond the agreed work hours. The overtime rate is usually higher than the regular hourly rate. Some employers will make you believe you’re not entitled to overtime pay, necessitating the assistance of Melbourne employment lawyers to recover unpaid overtime wages.