In the mind of the beholder; mens rea in general protections cases

“There is force in McMaster’s submission that, where a person is motivated to take adverse action by facts in the mind of that person that answer the description of a workplace right, the person is not exculpated from liability under s 340 because he or she did not know that those motivational facts could be characterised under the FW Act as constituting a workplace right. It is in that sense that it may be said, as I think the primary judge did say at [236]–[238], that to mistake the law or be ignorant as to the law, is not exculpatory.
Having, to that extent, failed to resist the temptation to enter upon that field, I think it appropriate that I say no more.”
Qube Ports Pty Ltd v McMaster (2016) FCAFC 123 delivered 9 September 2016 per Bromberg J