Archive: Nov 5, 2019, 12:00 AM

PSAB not persuaded to adjust respondent's decision

The Public Service Appeal Board has unanimously dismissed an appeal by a medical scientist who was dismissed by PathWest Laboratory Medicine WA. On 20 December 2018, the respondent found that the medical scientist had breached the WA Health Code of Conduct and issued her with a fourth reprimand. It then dismissed her on 23 January 2019.

The Board determined three preliminary matters. Firstly, it found that an interlocutory application made by the respondent to dismiss the appeal was not an issue that needed to be decided because the relationship between the parties had deteriorated to the extent that an employment relationship should not be restored. Secondly, the Board considered whether to hear the appeal of the respondent's first decision out of time and found that, in light of the circumstances of the matter, the extension of time should be granted. The Board dismissed a final preliminary application by the appellant in which she sought discovery of certain documents. The Board found that the documents were not necessary to resolve the matters in dispute.

Turning to the substantive matter, the Board considered that the allegations against the medical scientist about three interactions with her colleagues were made out and that her conduct was a breach of discipline. As such, the Board dismissed this part of the appeal and determined not to interfere with the respondent's findings of 20 December 2018.

Finally, the Board found that the dismissal was not warranted in the circumstances and that the appellant should have been given one final chance. However, the Board decided not to adjust the decision to dismiss because it found that reinstatement would not be practicable given that the medical scientist's dissatisfaction was with the organisation as a whole and not just the laboratory that she worked at. Also, the Board found that the evidence suggested that the medical scientist had a total incapacity to work for any employer in her field.

The Board dismissed the appeal.

The decision can be read here.