22 November 2007

Democratic Labor Party

Unlawful Dismissal: The Case of Hilda Zhang

In a late election campaign statement the Democratic Labor Party’s Senate hopeful for Victoria, John Mulholland, has highlighted the ongoing case of Hilda Zhang, who was dismissed for her unwillingness to break the law and her willingness to tell the truth.

Mr Mulholland said: “Hilda was sacked by the Royal Australian Chemical Institute Inc where she was employed as an accountant between 2001 and 2003 until she learned of share transactions concealed by the RACI from its own Board”.

Hilda responsibilities included preparing financial reports for the Board, but she discovered that her reports were being falsified by the omission of certain information required by the Accounting Standards and Income Tax Regulations to be included”.

Hilda was put under pressure by her employer after she told the employer that she would not be part of this concealment and that she would not comply with directives she believed to be in breach of the law”.

Hilda was warned about her non-compliance and was required to attend disciplinary counselling meetings which did not address the concerns she had raised and which she believed were responsible complaints about financial concealment”.

Nothing was resolved. Hilda was dismissed”.

Legal proceedings followed in the Federal Court and in an application for Special Leave to Appeal in the High Court, through which Hilda sought relief, based on the claim that she was dismissed unlawfully under section 170CK of the Workplace Relations Act 1996. (The section prohibits dismissals based on the filing of a complaint [by the employee] against an employer)”.

Her application to the Federal Court under section was dismissed on a legal technicality that the complaint was not appropriately filed”.

What will Mr Howard or Mr Rudd do about Hilda’s and other similar cases?”

For further information: John Mulholland 03 9568 5241

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