THE case of a young man with autism who the Australian Services Union (ASU) claims has been treated unfairly in his role at the City of Belmont will be taken to the Equal Opportunities Commission if the City does not address it.
The 23-year-old man, who wants to be known only as Scott, has a number of disabilities including autism.
His mental health is believed to have suffered since being stood down with pay from his role at the City’s library in October last year.
Pat Branson from the ASU said Scott was on paid sick leave due to the distress of the situation. She said the situation had arisen after “frivolous allegations” were made against Scott.
“He has been discriminated against because of his disabilities,” Ms Branson said.
She said the City had accused Scott of logging the return of five books a day early and had referred the matter to the Corruption and Crime Commission.
Ms Branson said the City forced him to sign a confidentiality agreement, telling him he could not speak of the issue to anyone.
“He takes things very literally, he does not know how to lie, he was told not to talk to his mother or his co-workers about the issue at all.”
Ms Branson claimed that after working for the City in different capacities for more than six years, the City was trying to force Scott out of his position.
She said the City had offered Scott a new role, which did not suit his abilities or disability requirements.
“They want to set him up to fail,” Ms Branson said.
She said she had tried to arrange a meeting with the City’s chief executive, Stuart Cole, but he refused to meet with her.
The ASU is preparing the case to submit to the Equal Opportunities Commission but is unsure when the matter will be dealt with.
Scott's mother tried to ask council a question about the matter at last month's council meeting - as is usually permitted - but council did not allow her to ask the question.
Mr Cole said the City was legally obliged to keep matters involving staff confidential.
“It was also for this reason the question from the officer’s mother was ruled out of order,” he said.
Mr Cole said the City was aware of its obligations regarding managing disabilities in the workplace.
“Nothing has happened recently to make us doubt our processes,” he said.
“The City takes its obligations regarding disciplinary matters very seriously and we are not prepared to compromise the integrity of our operations by avoiding confrontation when faced with situations requiring action.”