After receiving criticism from a passenger after telling him to wear his mask properly, a bus driver won a Fair Work wrongful dismissal case.
Bernie Riordan, the Fair Work Commissioner, ruled in favor of Amie Logsdon, 55, last month after her employer, Surfside Buslines, fired her days after she attempted to evict a passenger for using abusive language.
The commuter, according to Ms. Logsdon, boarded the Gold Coast bus without paying, sat in a space designated for the disabled, and wore a mask that extended below his chin.
She claimed that when she urged him to put the mask over his mouth and nose, he responded, “F*** off, Karen.”
She questioned the passenger, who had previously informed her that he was exempt, as to why he was still sporting a mask over his chin.
The man claimed to have visited a friend who was ill.
She requested him to go after he cursed at her, but he refused.
Before asking all of her customers to exit the bus and arranging for another service to pick them up, she called the bus control room and the police were informed.
The Queenslander acknowledged that tensions and fears were high during the start of the pandemic, but she insisted that she took these steps to safeguard her clients.
She saw it as being about “watching out for everyone.”
According to Ms. Logsdon, who worked as a bus driver, “the vast majority of my passengers were wonderful people – the elderly who caught the bus every day, school kids who you want to look after – it’s just a true slice of life at every stop.”
“Driving a bus is truly a front-line occupation, and you are by yourself.”
I honestly truly loved my job, but it’s difficult when you have to deal with abuse or disrespect.
Days later, the bus firm fired her for exceeding the scope of her employment by enforcing mask regulations, according to evidence presented at the Fair Work Commission inquiry.
She was informed that her actions did not conform to the company’s rules and that she should not have enforced the rules on her bus route because she could have prevented the incident.
While bus employees must wear masks to work, they are not expected to enforce them on their passengers.
She was fired for serious misbehavior, according to the bus company, after a complaint was made concerning her treatment of the customer.
However, the commissioner claimed that Ms. Logsdon was more concerned with the commuters’ health and safety that day, than mask wearing enforcement.
It was highlighted that the customer’s aggressive behavior was the reason the bus driver wanted to evict him, not the fact that his mask wasn’t worn properly.
The business was required to hire Ms. Logsdon again and pay her back wages.