Source – A Sydney company forced by the Fair Work Commission to re-hire an employee it fired for breaching its “code of conduct” by getting drunk and vomiting at a function at the Sydney Opera House is appealing the decision.
The worker, [was] fired by electrical contractor Ryan Wilks following farewell drinks for an Opera House employee at the venue in July.
The company, which was contracted to install lighting to part of the Opera House building, originally accused the woman — a project manager — of sexually propositioning an Opera House employee and insulting other staff when drunk at the function.
The woman originally wanted her job back after admitting to “never being so drunk in my life”, vomiting at the bar and being helped from the venue to a taxi.
She denied ever sexually propositioning an Opera House staff member or insulting other staff.
Fair Work commissioner Ian Cambridge agreed and ordered Ryan Wilks re-instate her, labelling the decision to dismiss the woman as “harsh, unreasonable and unjust”.
Take that, corporate world! Finally the pendulum starts to swing away from your evil, controlling, HR world back to some semblance of justice. Of individual freedoms. Of the right of all employees to drink to excess at work functions, get drunk, puke, sexually proposition some people and insult others.
I hate to admit it, but this stick-up-the-ass work culture happened on my generation’s watch. At one of my first jobs, back when I was in college, most of the executives were in their 50s. And every work function – and they were many – was like an orgy at Caligula’s palace. Debauchery. Drugs. Intra-office hookups. Porn on the TV screens in the conference rooms (it was a video production firm). Puke everywhere. Those parties were worth more than my meager, part-time pay. It was a consequence-free environment of pure hedonistic pleasure. Just a total breakdown of all social morays like they’d all found out the world was ending and there was no afterlife. I imagined it reflected the corporate culture of all companies and when I got out into the working world, the party would last for my whole adult life.
But somewhere along the line, we handed all the power over to the joyless lawyers, the buzzkill insurance companies, the Orwellian government agencies and the dullard HR drones. The Toby Flendersonsd. Who said drinking til you’re lying face down in a puddle of your own sick was a violation of some policy against enjoying yourself.
So with that, I’m glad the courts in Australia have established a beachhead for people like this young drunken maniac, who hope to free us from the tyranny. Granted, they probably just ruled that she was acting like an Australian and they have no laws against such hijinks. And maybe this new/old liberty will never make it across the Pacific and back to our shores. But it’s a start.