Canberra business owner Madlin Sims, who sacked a contractor for supporting the “no” campaign in last year’s marriage postal survey, has been cleared of wrongdoing by the Fair Work Ombudsman.
Sims, who runs a party entertainment business, announced the move in a Facebook post after the contractor, an 18-year-old Christian nanny, changed her profile picture to a frame reading “It’s OK to vote No,” produced by the Coalition For Marriage.
Sims wrote in a viral Facebook post, “Advertising your desire to vote no for SSM is, in my eyes, hate speech.
“1. It’s bad for business. 2. I don’t like shit morals. 3. I don’t want homophobes working for me, especially in an environment with children.”
She said she received support for the sacking but she also copped a barrage of death threats and abusive messages. She penned a subsequent post in which she stood by the decision.
“She was let go because her actions showed she is extremely out and proud about her views on homosexuals,” she wrote.
“I stand by my decision to let go of this contractor and her actions since being let go have justified for me that I made the right choice in doing so.”
Ms Sims was referred to the Fair Work Ombudsman to determine whether she had broken the law by sacking the nanny and whether Sims should have treated her as an employee rather than a contractor, the ABC reported.
Sims was sent a letter by a Fair Work inspector that told there was insufficient evidence to determine whether the woman met the definition of employee and the Fair Work Ombudsman (FWO) wouldn’t pursue further action.
The inspector noted there was some evidence that the relationship did indicate employment, while other evidence indicated a contracting situation.
“The investigation … has not identified any contravention of the Commonwealth workplace laws or the relevant industrial instrument,” the letter read.
“Discrimination occurs in the workplace when an employer takes adverse action against an employee because of a protected attribute.
“As the FWO has been unable to determine the nature of the engagement based on the evidence available, we will be taking no further action in relation to this matter at this time.”
Sims told the ABC the decision was a “massive weight off her shoulders” and said she hoped she hadn’t damaged the “yes” campaign but would “definitely do it again.”
“That business is like my little second baby, my pride and joy … I was very scared of losing that,” she said.
“The biggest relief for me was when the ‘Yes’ vote was finally passed. Having this pop up after that happened, it’s been a stressful few months.”
Madeline said last year she was “hurt and offended” to be described as a risk to children.
“I posted a filter and she said it was hate speech. Quite ironically she wrote her own hate speech about me,” she said.
“That was extremely hurtful … saying I was running around out in the open being horrible and discriminating against gay people when I’ve never done that at all.”