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ItemWhistleblower Laws: the other employment lawMeagher, Liam ( 2018)While there has been a considerable amount of research and writing on enhancing whistleblower laws to encourage whistleblowing and protect whistleblowers, little has been written on these laws’ impact on employers’ ability to manage employees. This paper, first, outlines how whistleblower laws impose restrictions and duties on employers dealing with employees’ alleged misconduct. Second, it critically evaluates these restrictions and duties, and advocates for changes. It argues for reforms to some public sector whistleblower laws to enable employers to discipline employees for making deliberately false and misleading disclosures. More importantly, however, it argues that requirements on employers in public sector whistleblower laws to investigate employee disclosures inappropriately interfere with employers’ ability to respond to allegations of employee misconduct. These requirements force employers to go through an ‘investigation’ process where other forms of management action are preferable; may discourage employees reporting wrongdoing; and impose substantial administrative costs. Alternatives models are considered.
ItemShould physical features discrimination be prohibited?Meagher, Liam ( 2019)This paper commences by outlining a framework for determining when the moral underpinnings of discrimination laws on ‘traditional grounds’ (such as race, sex, disability and age) can be applied to justify further prohibited grounds of discrimination. Applying this framework, and drawing on the psychological literature and experience in the only Australian jurisdictions with physical features discrimination laws (Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory), it considers whether physical features discrimination should be prohibited. It argues, first, for prohibiting discrimination on the ground of physical features that are ‘immutable’, in the sense they are not chosen and are difficult to change. Second, it argues against prohibiting discrimination on the ground of chosen physical features generally. Third, it argues for also prohibiting discrimination on the ground of physical features that represent attributes already protected by discrimination laws.