Jobs website that allows workers to rate employers 'legal minefield', warn experts
Melbourne, March 4 : A new Australian jobs website has caused a stir by encouraging employees to anonymously rate and review their employers.
InsideTrak.com.au invites current and past employees of more than 50,000 businesses across the country to post anonymous reviews of their workplace and culture.
But experts have warned that it is a "legal minefield'' that could land users with serious lawsuits, the Daily Telegraph reported.
The website users can write up to 215 words describing the "pros'' and "cons'' of a workplace without having to prove they actually worked there, and reviews are published without moderation.
The website also prevent users from concealing their identity, with notices warning against listing exact job titles and cities.
Reviews are displayed alongside matching job ads for each business, which are automatically pulled from online feeds and Google listings.
Hundreds of businesses, including 71 in New South Wales, 67 in Victoria, 17 in South Australia, 43 in Queensland, 24 in Western Australia and one in Tasmania, have so far been anonymously rated as "poor'' or "terrible''.
InsideTrak CEO Mark Larsen, a former senior executive of recruitment website Monster.com, said the site was aimed at job seekers wanting to get the "inside story'' on a potential employer.
"We're providing a platform for people to get some insight about a workplace, take all of the opinions that you see and do with those what you will,'' he said.
But Internet law and defamation expert at the University of Queensland Peter Black has asserted under Australian law anyone posting negative reviews on the site could be liable for defamation if their comments were aimed at an individual or company with 10 or fewer staff.
"Sites like this do have a high risk of being potentially liable for defamation when someone posts a comment, both the person who posted the comment would be liable and also the website itself,'' he said.