Gold Coast bus driver wins unfair dismissal case after Covid feud with passenger over mask wearing
Bus driver fired after trying to make passenger wear a mask during Covid, but was abused as a ‘Karen’ wins her unfair dismissal case
- Gold Coast bus driver received a deafening hearing after telling customer to put on mask
- Amie Logsdon then ordered him to get off the bus for the abuse, but he refused to leave
- Her employer, Surfside Buslines, has fired her for inappropriate behavior
- It said bus workers should wear masks at work, but not to enforce them
- Fair Work said she wasn’t in the business of enforcement, but wanted to protect people
A bus driver won an unfair dismissal case from Fair Work after assaulting a passenger after telling him to wear his mask properly.
Amie Logsdon, 55, was ruled in favor by Fair Work Commissioner Bernie Riordan last month after her employer, Surfside Buslines, fired her days after trying to exclude the client for foul language.
Ms Logsdon told Commissioner Riordan that the commuter got on the Gold Coast bus without paying, sat down in a disabled seat and wore a mask that went below his chin.
After asking him to cover his nose and mouth with the mask, she said he replied, “F*** off, Karen.”
Bus driver Amie Logsdon (pictured) won an uphill battle against her employer last month after she was kicked out when she tried to evict an abusive man who wouldn’t wear his mask properly
The company said Translink regulations require bus drivers to wear masks but are not required to enforce the mandate on passengers, adding that Ms Logsdon could have avoided the collision.
The passenger had told her he had a waiver and she asked him why he even wore a mask on his chin if he did.
The man said he saw a friend in the hospital.
After he cursed her, she asked him to leave, which he refused to do.
She then called the bus control room and the police were notified before asking all her passengers to get off the bus and arranging another service to pick them up.
The Queenslander admitted at the start of the pandemic that tensions and fears were high, but she said she was taking those measures to protect her customers.
For her, it was about ‘taking care of everyone’.
Fair Work Commissioner Bernie Riordan said Ms Logsdon (pictured) was unfairly fired by Surfside Buslines and ordered her reinstatement to her job
“The vast majority of my passengers were wonderful people – the elderly who took the bus every day, school children you want to look after – it’s just a real slice of life at every stop,” Ms Logsdon told the Gold Coast Bulletin†
“Driving a bus is really a front-line job and you’re on your own.
“It’s hard when you’re dealing with abuse or disrespect, but I really loved my job.”
Days later, she was fired by the bus company for going beyond her job description by enforcing mask mandates, the Fair Work Commission hearing heard.
She was told that her behavior was not in line with company policies and that she should not have enforced the mandates on her bus route as she could have avoided the collision.
Bus staff are required to wear masks at work, but they are not called upon to enforce them with their passengers.
A complaint was made about her behavior towards the customer and the bus service said she had been released for serious misconduct.
But the commissioner said masking was not enforced that day, but Ms Logsdon was concerned about the health and safety of the commuters.
It was noted that the bus driver wanted to send the customer away because of his abusive language and not because he was not wearing a mask.
The company was ordered to reinstate Ms Logsdon with work in progress and arrears.
Translink and Surfside Buslines were contacted by the Daily Mail for comment.