Mining giant Rio Tinto has been hit with an unprecedented $1.3 million payout order for an injured mine-worker it unlawfully stood down just days after he won a damages claim against the company.

The compensation, which comes on top of the $638,000 in damages, represents the highest amount awarded for an employer’s breach of the Fair Work Act. It follows what the mining union says is a ‘David and Goliath’ battle spanning three years.

Rio Tinto subsidiary Hail Creek Coal stood down Michael Haylett at the Queensland mine in November 2013, four days after the company was ordered to pay him damages for negligence that contributed to a spinal injury he suffered in 2009.

The company argued Mr Haylett was unfit for work despite him having worked as drill rig operator to accommodate his injury since 2010.


Source: Rio Tinto to pay record $2 million compensation