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  • Australia Tightens Privacy Protections on COVID-19 Tracing App

    New legislation imposes stronger privacy protections on Australia’s planned contact-tracing app. “The Australian government’s coronavirus tracing app will have stronger privacy protections under legislation which has passed Parliament,” reports The New Daily. “People found accessing the data without authorization will face up to five years’ jail and fines of $63,000. Businesses refusing to serve...

  • Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement Mark One Year Anniversary of J5

    Earlier this month, the five leaders of the Joint Chiefs of Global Tax Enforcement (known as the “J5”) met in Washington to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the formation of the J5 organization and to announce their first year results. The J5 consists of the leaders of tax enforcement agencies in five countries: Australia, Canada,...

  • Australia to Join the WTO Government Procurement Agreement

    Australia will become the newest member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) plurilateral Government Procurement Agreement (GPA). On October 17, 2018, parties to the GPA unanimously approved a decision to welcome Australia as the 48th WTO member to be covered by the GPA. The GPA is a plurilateral agreement that strives to ensure open, fair...

  • Number 18: Really?

    Each month we get a report from our own marketing folks on how many people read and subscribe to our blog. On June 29, we received an email from Adelaide in South Australia in which a law firm has taken the time to evaluate the 100 best divorce blogs in the world.  It was a...

  • Report Highlighting Positive Impact of the Trans-Pacific Partnership on U.S. Service Suppliers

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a trade agreement between 12 Pacific Rim countries (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam), which among other things, contains measures to lower trade barriers such as tariffs. For more information about the TPP see our previous post, Fox...

  • Fox Guide to the Trans-Pacific Partnership

    The Story After many years of negotiations, the 12 countries making up the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) (Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, United States, and Vietnam) finally reached a trade agreement on October 4, 2015.  Note that the deal still needs to be approved by Congress (after the President...

  • First Anti-Bullying Decision In Australia

    Australian Workplace and Discrimination Representatives, an Australian non-lawyer employee representative organization, recently noted on its blog that the Australian Fair Work Commission (“FWC”) issued its first ruling on May 12th under the new anti-bullying rules. As Coleman Greig Lawyers noted in their blog, the case involved two complaints by a supervisor of bullying – bullying by her...

  • Is “Brainstorming” Offensive To Those With Epilepsy? Is “Thought Showers” Better?

    Is the word “brainstorming” offensive as being disrespectful to people with epilespy?  At least in Australia?   That was the subject of a recent post based upon something told to us by a “normally trustworthy source” (who wishes to remain anonymous because, she said, this implies that she is “normal” and “trustworthy” — adjectives she apparently disdains)....

  • Is “Brainstorming” Politically Incorrect?”

    Just heard from a normally reliable source that, at least in Australia, the term “brainstorming” is no longer an appropriate word for a group problem-solving technique, since it is deemed offensive to those who suffer from epilepsy. Supposedly the now-preferred term is “thought showers.” As writers of a blog on discrimination, we are generally up on...

  • Store Camera Catches Store Manager Grabbing Female Employee

    This case from Australia is notable for one thing, we think:  it illustrates either hubris on the part of a management supervisor, who figured that his subordinate was too afraid to complain of sexual harassment (which fear is all too frequent), or just plain stupidity. One would think that if you are a store manager you...

  • Workplace Sexual Harassment Includes Sexual Harassment In The Corridor

    For some reason, we have gotten our most interesting cases from Australia.  Remember the employee who fell from a chandelier while engaging in sex – and received a workers comp award from an Australian court? Our news today is not that salacious – but nonetheless interesting. Seems that what the Australian Federal Court called an “arrogant” contract...

  • Ho, Ho Ho Did Not Greet Our “Santa With A Phallic Symbol” Post

    Ho, Ho Ho, was not a common reader response to our recent “Santa With A Phallic Symbol” post.  The post did, however, open a floodgate of comments, mainly from HR people, about what is proper in the workplace and what is not. Bernie Althofer, a business owner and management consultant from Brisbane, Australia, made the...

  • Australia Pregnancy Discrimination Laws To Be Broadened To Require Transfer To “Safe Jobs”

    As with the US’s Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Australian Fair Work Act makes it illegal to discriminate against a pregnant employee.  The Fair Work Act goes further – it provides penalties for violations of up to $51,000 for a corporation and $10,200 for an individual. The Australian government plans to go further still to protect pregnant women...

  • Should Employees Sign A Waiver To Protect Employers: “I Agree Not To Engage In Wild Sex On A Business Trip”?

    Our post the other day about an employer in Australia found liable under workers comp for an employee’s injuries suffered from wild sex and a falling chandelier drew more comments than any single previous post.  Can’t figure out why? The best comment (so far) is from Laurie Butler, an HR person, who wrote on a LinkedIn group page the...

  • Harassment Referral Officer Gives His Advice On Applying The “Broken Window Theory” To Workplace Harassment

    Bernie Althofer AFAIM, who we quoted in brief yesterday, is a former Harassment Referral Officer in a police service in Australia.  We have been hoping for active feedback and discussion on our positing the applicability of the “Broken Windows Theory” to workplace sexual harassment (if at all), and Bernie was kind enough to giive us his thoughts,...

  • Australian Government To Propose National Prohibition of Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Discrimination

    For the first time, we may see a law prohibiting sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination on a national level in Australia affecting all areas of public life, including goods and services, employment and schools.   Currently, more limited laws exist but only at the state level. Dan Harrison in the Sydney Morning Herald reports that...

  • SEC’S POSITION ON PRIVATE SUITS AFTER MORRISON

    In response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Morrison v. National Australia Bank where the Supreme Court said that there was no private right of action for lawsuits that involved transnational fraud, the SEC has taken a position that has angered some.  As many know, the Dodd-Frank Act confirmed the SEC’s jurisdiction as it relates...

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