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In the case, Austin v Honeywell Ltd, the Federal Circuit Court determined that the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) is not a “workplace law” for the purpose of protecting a person against adverse action under section 340 of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (Act). However, the judge conceded that a provision within an Act or regulation could regulate the relationship between employers and employees even though the Act or the regulations as a whole did not do so. In any case, the Judge found that the employer had discharged the onus of proving that it had terminated her employment because of her attitude to her manager and not because she had commenced an adverse action claim. Not all statutory rights amount to workplace rights granting protection against adverse action. Whether a workplace right exists depends on whether the provision or Act is aimed at regulating the relationship between employers and employees. The Privacy Act was held not to be a workplace law, therefore it did not give rise to a workplace right.

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