The employer cannot do this unless the employment agreement permits such action.
Otherwise this conduct by the employer may be argued as bullying conduct.
From the description you have provided there is workplace bullying occurring to you. Part6-4B of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (FW Act) empowers the Fair Work Commission (FWC) to make orders to stop workplace bullying. Bullying at work occurs where a worker is subjected to repeated unreasonable behaviour by an individual or group of individuals that creates a risk to health and safety: s 789FD(1). The definition of bullying does not include reasonable management action carried out in reasonable manner: s 789FD(2).
Bullying may involve a wide range of behaviour including harassment, victimisation and racial vilification; abusive, insulting, or offensive language or comments; unjustified criticism or complaints; withholding information that is vital for effective work performance; setting unreasonable timelines or constantly changing deadlines; setting tasks that are unreasonably below or beyond a person's skill level; denying access to information, supervision, consultation or resources to the detriment of the worker; spreading misinformation or malicious rumours; changing work arrangements, such as roster and leave, to deliberately inconvenience a particular worker or workers.
An application for stop bullying orders may be made by you under the Fair Work Act.
The Fair Work has discretion to deal with an application as it considers appropriate, including by mediation, conference or hearing. The applicant and alleged bully, as well as the principal(s) or employer(s) of the applicant and alleged bully will be given an opportunity to be heard and put forward their case.
If you have not done so you may also consider mediation with the employer as well. However, sometimes this is understandably difficult.
The employer has a duty to provide a safe place of work. This extends to providing an environment that is free from bullying.
The moment your file the claim art Fair Work you should also inform your employer on the same. The reason for this approach is once you inform the employer and if they terminate your employment you will be able to argue the position of unfair dismissal. Keep in mind you are are terminated there is a strict time limit to apply under the Fair Work Act that must be complied with when filing the application with Fair Work.
Compensation for bullying conduct may apply under anti-discrimination statutes if the relevant discrimination occurs as part of the bullying; compensation payments for psychological injury; compensation under breach of contract; tort against individual employees for intentional harm; vicarious liability of the employer for the wrongful conduct of an employee.
Example of some orders that are made by Fair Work Commission include: that parties to workplace conduct should not contact each other, should not comment on clothes or appearance, should be rostered onto different shifts so that they do not need to deal with each other, should not exchange any correspondence by email but should negotiate all work issues through their supervisor, the employer pay for counselling for the victim of bullying.
The main point is that you have a legal right to be protected and the law will come to your aid.
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