Worker unjustifiably dismissed over ‘theft’ of sausages

The great Northland sausage heist?A Far North man who worked with the intellectually disabled was wrongfully dismissed after being accused of stealing sausages from a work Christmas BBQ, but the Employment Relations Authority said the man's "significant contribution" to the situation meant he was not entitled to any compensation for the wrongdoing. Jack Lemon worked for Idea Services - which provides services for people with intellectual disabilities - as a community support worker at its Moerewa facility until he [...]

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Worker wins case against boss who smashed truck window

An employer who smashed the window of an employee's work truck because the worker was suspected of stealing diesel has been ordered to pay $5600 compensation by the Employment Relations Authority. The worker, William Tuhura, won his claim for unjustified constructive dismissal against Action Plumbing, Gas and Drainage Services Limited. Mr Tuhura began working for the company as a drainlayer in 2009. His boss, managing director Daniel Board, became suspicious that Mr Tuhura was taking diesel bought with a work fuel [...]

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Air NZ Flight Attendant Wins Unjustified Dismissal Case

Former Air New Zealand flight attendant Gina Kensington, who was forced to hand over her bank and Facebook records by the ERA has won her case against the airline. Ms Kensington was dismissed from her long haul flight attendant job when she defied her manager's instructions and took domestic leave to care for her ill sister Vania earlier this year who had just had a baby. In March Ms Kensington, who was on leave and at the beach for the [...]

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Liquor Stores fined $200k for ripping off workers

Two Auckland liquor stores and a dairy owned by businessman Ala'a Bader have been ordered to pay more than $200,000 in wage repayments and fines for breaching employment law. The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has found that the companies that operate Civic Convenience, Symonds Liquor and Sky Liquor, underpaid some of their staff who were international students from India. A Labour inspector investigated after the workers complained. The investigation found that the men were not getting the minimum wage or holiday pay [...]

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Company fined for exploiting migrant workers

No fairtrade certification for this bathroom company. Auckland company Shynday Kitchen and bathroom have been found guilty of exploiting migrant workers and ordered to pay compensation totalling $23,065. The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) found that the Shynday factory  breached good-faith obligations when it dismissed two Chinese employees. Following and anonymous complaint a labour inspector visited the factory on 11th April this year and spoke to the two employees, Ming Mao and Guoqiang Sun. Sun claimed the factory manager, Wenjiang Xu, looked at him threateningly [...]

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ERA rules no compensation for sexual harassment claimant

A hospitality sales cadet who was sexually harassed by her co-workers has not received any compensation from her employer, after alerting the company to the harassment only in her resignation letter. The woman - whose name was suppressed by the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) - was employed by the unnamed Auckland company between February 7 and April 30 last year. The woman raised a personal grievance with the ERA on the ground of sexual harassment, and said her resignation amounted to [...]

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Employment Court says Text message dismissal unjustified

The Employment Court at Nelson has upheld an Employment Relations Authority decision finding a salad bar worker was unjustifiably dismissed when she was sacked by text message after being accused of stealing on her second day on the job. Chief Employment Court Judge Graeme Colgan upheld the ERA decision awarded Amberleigh Howe-Thornley more than $6000 in compensation. The ERA was told Ms Howe-Thornley applied for a job at Salad Bowl in Nelson after the company advertised for someone to operate a [...]

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ERA upholds psychiatric worker dismissal for assaulting patient

The Employment Relations Authority has ruled that a psychiatric assistant who forced an autistic patient to the ground and held him in a head lock was justifiably dismissed. Lopiseni Takataka was employed at a regional forensic psychiatric and rehabilitation service run by the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) for just over two years. The Hamilton based service runs a specialist centre in Hamilton, caring for individuals who have a mental disorder which had led to criminal offending. At the time of [...]

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Migrant workers take employer to ERA over exploitation claims

Norajane Colos looks happy but some of her workers are not.Auckland company E-Advance Ltd is being taken to the Employment Relations Authority by five staff migrant workers who claim they have been exploited. The workers claim they were not paid wages, had to 'invest'in the company and some ended up living in the company offices because they could not afford to pay for accommodation. These are not manual workers brought into New Zealand to work in horticulture. They are [...]

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ERA forces sacked worker to give up Facebook and bank info

An Air New Zealand flight attendant has been forced to surrender Facebook pages and bank account statements by the Employment Relations Authority. The ERA is hearing Gina Kensington's personal grievance claim for unjustified dismissal by Air New Zealand over alleged abuse of sick leave in March this year. Kensington claims she took the sick leave to care for her sister. Air New Zealand responded to her grievance claim by demanding that they be allowed to see her Facebook and bank [...]

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