Darrin James Grant, a Peak Downs coal mine employee, was sacked by BHP in 2013 after failing to show up for two doctors appointments organised by BHP to assess the condition of a shoulder injury.
Mr Grant had been off work for over eight months with the injury which had required extensive surgery.
In March of 2013, Mr Grant presented his supervisor with a medical certificate from his orthopaedic surgeon which stated he was ‘fit for work’. However BHP insisted Mr Grant be assessed by a doctor of their choosing as the certificate from Mr Grant’s surgeon did not have enough detail.
The field maintenance superintendent at the mine told the Fair Work Commission,
“I’ve got an obligation under the Coal Mining & Health Act to ensure the safety of our people on the mine. We just have to make sure that we don’t send you out on the mine, particularly after you’ve had such an extensive time off. You may re-injure yourself at work.”
When Mr Grant failed to attend the two doctors appointments organised by BHP he was fired.
In June of this year the Fair Work Commission found that BHP’s requests were lawful and reasonable and that Mr Grant’s failure to comply with his employee’s directive was grounds for dismissal.
Mr Grant has now taken his case to the federal court, claiming the directive to attend the doctors appointments did not come from his direct supervisor.