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Law firm is accused of lying to a paralegal to convince her to take a 20 per cent pay cut

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Top-tier law firm is accused of lying to a young glamorous paralegal in order to convince her to take a 20 per cent pay cut during the Covid pandemic

  • Carly Ann Frances Bullock, 25, is suing high-profile Brisbane law firm AJ and Co
  • She alleges the founder lied when he said all staff were taking a 20 per cent cut 
  • She claimed the top boss convinced her to a $75,000 to $60,000 salary cut
  • Ms Bullock is suing firm and several bosses in the Federal Court of Queensland 

A top law firm is accused in court documents of lying to a young paralegal to convince her to take a 20 per cent pay cut during the coronavirus pandemic.

Carly Ann Frances Bullock, 25, alleged Andrew Johnson, the founder of AJ and Co, falsely told her all the firm’s staff were taking a 20 per cent pay cut due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Ms Bullock is suing the Brisbane law firm in the Federal Court, accusing Mr Johnson of ‘unconscionable conduct’ by strong-arming her into agreeing to a $75,000 to $60,000 salary cut.

Carly Ann Frances Bullock, 25, claimed AJ and Co lied to her when she was told all the firm’s staff were taking a 20 per cent pay cut due to the COVID-19 pandemic

The young paralegal alleged in her statement of claim filed with the court she ‘felt she had no choice but to sign the March 31, 2020, pay reduction letter or her employment would be terminated’, the Courier Mail reported.  

Ms Bullock alleged her other boss, Jonathan Whybird, whom she is also suing, told her on the phone that Mr Johnson ‘is on a war path of firing people at the moment so I would do yourself a favour now and sign the letter’. 

Ms Bullock is suing the law firm, accusing founder Andrew Johnson of 'unconscionable conduct' for persuading her to agree to a $75,000 to $60,000 salary cut

Ms Bullock is suing the law firm, accusing founder Andrew Johnson of ‘unconscionable conduct’ for persuading her to agree to a $75,000 to $60,000 salary cut

Mr Whybird allegedly told Ms Bullock that Mr Johnson was ‘beyond pissed’, according to her statement of claim.

Ms Bullock alleged Mr Johnson lied when he said the pay cuts weren’t up for discussion, and that a number of employees’ salaries were getting slashed.

However, a week after their conversation, lawyer Thomas Allan managed to negotiate his way out of a pay cut.

The 25-year-old alleges that her workload increased drastically following her pay cut and as a result of several staff losing their jobs during the pandemic.

Ms Bullock, who left the firm on July 10 after nearly two years, is also suing chief financial officer Kathryn Sinclair, business operations manager Rebecca Mync, and Mr Whybird.

She claimed Ms Sinclair told her the firm couldn’t afford to reinstate previous wages, despite Jobkeeper payments improving the company’s cash flow.

AJ and Co has not yet filed a defence. The case is next due in court on February 8.

Ms Bullock (right) claimed she 'felt she had no choice but to sign the 31 March 2020 pay reduction letter or her employment would be terminated'

Ms Bullock (right) claimed she ‘felt she had no choice but to sign the 31 March 2020 pay reduction letter or her employment would be terminated’ 

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