Timber mill worker wins unfair dismissal case

Queensland man Jeremy Lee worked for a company called Superior Wood and he successfully represented himself after he refused to sign-on and sign-off using a finger print scanner.

He argued that the bosses were stealing his bio-metric data and, under the Privacy Act, this is unlawful.

The full bench of the Fair Work Commission ruled in Jeremy’s favour saying he was unfairly dismissed. However this does not get Jeremy his job back.

ABC Law Report on Unfair Dismissal win

For more detailed report go to – https://podcasts.apple.com/au/podcast/sawmill-worker-who-refused-to-clock-in-fingerprints/id74849126?i=1000438947031

Jeremy says that the decision does not set a precedent. The full bench decision was damage control ‘it is a squib and a way of not setting a precedent (that he owns his own personal information)’ he said.

Sunshine Coast timber mill at Imbil where Jeremy Lee was sacked for refusing to supply fingerprints.

Also Jeremy said that the original commissioner who ruled against him had a ‘conflict of interest’ because she had worked in the biometrics industry. Jeremy would have preferred to appeal to the Federal court so that he could have set a precedent. Plus he doesn’t get his job back. Maurice Blackburn Lawyer Josh Bernstein says that more sophisticated companies will simply comply with the Privacy Act in the future and get around Jeremy Lee’s objections. Jeremy was not required to sign a contract that he would abide by present and future policies (even ones Superior Woods have not thought of in the future). Josh Bernstein indicated that ‘more sophisticated’ employers would get their workers to do so in the future.

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