Adverse action

Adverse action is certain types of action that is unlawful if it is taken for particular reasons. The FW Act describes what types of action is adverse action.

Adverse action taken by an employer includes doing, threatening or organising any of the following:

  • dismissing an employee
  • injuring an employee in their employment
  • altering an employee’s position to their prejudice
  • discriminating between one employee and other employees
  • refusing to employ a prospective employee
  • discriminating against a prospective employee on the terms and conditions in the offer of employment.

The full meaning of ‘adverse action’ is described in section 342 of the FW Act.

Legal Case
On 2 July 2019, the Federal Court dismissed the ABCC's application regarding alleged coercion and adverse action on the Perth Stadium site in August 2016. The ABCC appealed the Federal Court judgment. The Full Federal Court heard the appeal on 25 February 2020. The Full Federal Court has reserved its decision.  
31 August 2018
Landing page
This section covers rights and responsibilities in relation to right of entry, coercion, discrimination, wages and entitlements, industrial action, freedom of association, unlawful pickets and independent contractors.
23 August 2018
Legal Case
The ABCC* commenced proceedings against the CFMEU and official Tawa Harris in the Federal Court for breaching right of entry provisions at the Joondalup Multi-Storey Car Park construction site. The trial listed for 31 May 2016 was vacated after Harris admitted his contravention.
31 August 2018
Basic page
Freedom of association protections give employees and contractors the right to choose whether or not to join a union or industrial association.
19 August 2018
Basic page
You will lose pay for going on strike
19 August 2018
Legal Case
The ABCC* commenced proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against the CFMEU and officials: Joseph McDonald, Michael Buchan, Steven McCann, Bradley Upton, Patrick Heathcote and Tawa Harris. The ABCC alleged the respondents took coercive and adverse action on the new Perth Children’s Hospital construction site in January 2013.
31 August 2018
Legal Case
The ABCC* commenced proceedings against 23 employees working on WA Water Corporation’s new waste treatment plant for allegedly engaging in unlawful industrial action.
31 August 2018
Legal Case
On 15 April 2019, the Federal Court in Brisbane imposed $58,500 in penalties against the CFMMEU, its State Secretary Michael Ravbar and union official Andrew Sutherland over their unlawful action on the Legacy Way Port Connect Project in 2012.
31 August 2018
Legal Case
The Federal Court on 12 November 2019 penalised the CFMMEU $38,000 and two of its officials a total of $12,500 after they organised a work stoppage at a $30 million Brighton apartment project over demands for a larger site shed and dedicated female toilet.
31 August 2018
Legal Case
The ABCC commenced proceedings against the CFMEU and two of its representatives, Mario Raspudic and Mark Travers, for allegedly preventing non-financial members of the union from working at the Melbourne University College project. In a statement of claim filed in the Federal Court, the ABCC alleges:
31 August 2018

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