Assistant Crown Solicitor
Samantha, who manages one of two Workplace Law Teams in Crown Law, provides expert legal advice and representation in discrimination, industrial and employment law litigation and discipline processes.
Samantha has over 20 years’ specialist experience in employment and anti-discrimination law and has worked exclusively for State public sector agencies for over 10 years. Her career began at Legal Aid Queensland before moving into private practice and working in the United Kingdom. Prior to joining Crown Law in 2004, Samantha was an Associate at Mullins Lawyers where she was responsible for the development of their employment and discrimination law practice.
Samantha advises and represents various government agencies on the most complex employment and discrimination matters, including:
- management of complex discipline and employee management processes
- managing ill employees, including ill-health retirement
- all aspects of the Public Service Act 2008 and Industrial Relations Act 2016
- advice on complex statutory interpretation and legislative amendment
- response to Workers’ Compensation claims and advice on work health and safety obligations
- workplace interchange arrangements, employment contracts and statutory appointments
- transmission of business between State and Federal Industrial Relations systems
- complex anti-discrimination and sexual harassment claims
- all claims before the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission, including industrial disputes, unfair dismissals, freedom of association and adverse action
- advice on workplace investigations
- employee complaints and grievance processes, bullying and harassment
- advice on workplace change and redundancy.
- Overseeing and coordinating a team of lawyers representing the State in relation to 22 race discrimination complaints brought against the State and 38 of its officers by a prisoner, comprising 551 pages of handwritten complaint material, over a five-year period. The prisoner withdrew each of the complaints.
- Defending Queensland Health in the matter of Minogue v Queensland Health which involved a series of industrial disputes and subsequent unfair dismissal proceedings brought by the employee in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission. The decision is an important precedent in considering the breakdown of the relationship of trust and confidence between employer and employee.
- Preparation of discipline correspondence and conduct of subsequent unfair dismissal proceedings and penalties in the matter of Whyte v Department of Justice and Attorney-General, which addressed the right of an employer to take into account an employee’s conduct during the discipline process.
- Providing complex advice to the State in relation to potential liability under State and Federal anti-discrimination laws arising from the implementation of a significant redress scheme.
- Representing the complainant in Hopper v Mt Isa Mines Ltd before the Anti-Discrimination Tribunal Queensland and Supreme Court of Queensland, a leading Australian authority on the vicarious liability of employers in anti-discrimination claims.