There was a very interesting piece in the Australian today by Janet Albrechtsen:
TAFKAS does not want to talk about the specifics of the Folau matter again as they have been well ventilated. What TAFKAS would like to do is highlight some of the things in Albrechtsen’s piece, as someone who is generally unfamiliar with the Fair Work Act and its provisions.
Albrechtsen closes her piece with this:
While this intersection between sport, sponsors, religious freedom and the law is sensational, the court’s decision will have profound consequences for workers beyond the rugby field.
Based on some of the things she writes in the piece, ABSOLUTELY! So what did she write? This paragraph particularly caught TAFKAS’ eye:
Get set for the mother of all battles. Critically, Rugby Australia will bear the onus of proving that it did not terminate Folau’s contract because of his religious faith. Presumably Rugby Australia will have to bring evidence from its management team, establishing who said what to whom, and what role corporate sponsors played in the decision-making process that led to Rugby Australia terminating Folau’s contract.
So essentially, the onus of proof of wrong doing has been reversed. It seems that Rugby Australia’s “guilt” has been pre-determined and it is up to Rugby Australia to prove itself innocent.
Howz that for a game of soldiers.
Forget about Folau for a second. Imagine you are an employer and you terminate someone. That someone can apparently take you to the Federal Court where you have to provide that you terminated the person for valid reasons rather than the person proving you didn’t. What the hell?
TAFKAS is sure that this is not the only reversed onus in Australian law, but what a disgrace. What a disgrace.