A week or so ago, there came a decision from the Fair Work Commission, upholding an appeal from ANU; the decision is reported on here. The upshot is that there was held to be a valid reason for a mathematician’s dismissal, stemming from one brief intimate encounter between consenting adults.
In their judgement, the commissioners stress that
we do not intend to adopt any overly censorious, puritanical or wowserish approach.
Which may be true. It may be that the commissioners merely applied ANU’s overly censorious, puritanical and wowserish rules.
The commissioners left open for conciliation and their later consideration the issue of whether the dismissal was “harsh, unjust or unreasonable”. The commissioners note that
[the dismissal] appears to have involved not only the loss of [the mathematician’s] employment but his entire academic career.
Given this, the commissioners ponder,
the dismissal may arguably have been harsh.
Others, however, although happy to announce the FWC decision to their thousands of followers, are not so willing to then comment:
So, it may be a while before we learn whether the gates of hell are now open or closed, or whatever.