FWO slammed for legal tactics

The lack of common sense so often displayed by powerful, well funded bureaucratic bodies with no personal investment in a cause, is on stark display in a Federal Circuit Court judgement arising from the zealous pursuit by the Fair Work Ombudsman’s Office (some of its legal strategies being described variously by the judge as “outrageous”, “baseless” and “improper”) in the prosecution of an employer with short term cash flow difficulties, contrary to the interests of the employees, for underpayment of wages, notwithstanding that the directors had “applied and exhausted their own personal funds”.
“That conduct by the FWO was a cause of a company that was otherwise solvent being placed in liquidation and the intellectual property that was of real and substantial commercial value was thereby destroyed,” he said.
“I find that it was not in the best interests of the employees of the respondent companies.”

Fair Work Ombudsman v Priority Matters Pty Ltd & Anor and Fair Work Ombudsman v Superlattice Solar & Anor Pty Ltd and Fair Work Ombudsman v Geneasys Pty Ltd & Anor and Fair Work Ombudsman v Kia Silverbrook & Anor and Fair Work Ombudsman v Mpowa Pty Ltd & Anor (2016) FCCA 1474 delivered 17 June 2016 per Street J