Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v J Hutchinson Pty Ltd & Ors
Court file number: BRG152/2016
Applicant: Director of the Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate
Respondent(s): J Hutchinson Pty Ltd, John Berlese, Edan Hawley.
Date filed: 19 February 2016
Alleged breach: Adverse action
A penalty hearing took place in the Federal Circuit Court on 9 August 2016 and a judgment delivered the same day. The Court ordered penalties totalling $29,175 against the respondents.
FWBC has commenced proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court against building firm Hutchinson Builders and two of its officers over allegations they refused to award a contract to a tiling company because it had an enterprise agreement that was not endorsed by the CFMEU.
FWBC alleges as follows:
On 8 October 2012 the tiling company provided a quote to Mr Edan Hawley of Hutchinson Builders for tiling work on the Circa One project at Nundah. It is alleged that Mr Hawley responded via email stating: “If you are confident that you can resource the project I think we are fairly close to being able to award the package to (tiling company)”.
Following this email, the tiling company met with Mr Hawley at the project site on 10 October 2012 and it was agreed the tiling company would start on the project the week beginning 22 October.
On 15 October, Hutchinson Builders’ team leader, John Berlese, emailed the tiling company requesting a copy of its current enterprise agreement. The agreement was provided via email later that afternoon.
On 24 October, the week the tiling company was scheduled to begin working on the site, it is alleged that Mr Hawley emailed the company to tell them they were no longer engaged on the project. Mr Hawley’s email is alleged to have stated: “Thank-you for your time invested in the project, unfortunately without a union endorsed EBA we will not be able to engage (tiling company)”.
FWBC alleges that the above conduct constitutes adverse action and discrimination by Hutchinson Builders against the tiling company.
A penalty hearing took place in the Federal Circuit Court on 9 August 2016 and a judgment delivered the same day. The Court ordered penalties totalling $29,175 against the respondents comprising $25,575 against Hutchinson Builders and $1,800 against each individual respondent.
For more information please view the document(s) attached below.
Media release: Media release - Major building firm in court for allegedly discriminating against subcontractor (PDF 32KB) Media release - Building company penalised for “blatant” discrimination against subcontractor (PDF 360KB)