The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has upheld a claim by a former employee that his employer breached a mediated settlement by telling prospective employers that it would not re-hire him because he did not fit the values of the organisation.

The employee had settled a personal grievance with his employer in which it was agreed that the parties would not disparage each other and that the employer would provide a positive written reference.  When contacted by prospective employers the former employer said that they would not re-hire the employee.  When asked why, they said that his values did not fit with those of the organisation.

The ERA held those comments to be disparaging and at odds with the positive written reference provided.  It ordered the employer to pay $8,100 to the employee and a fine of $2,700 to the Authority for breaching the mediated agreement.

Winning the case however, may cause more damage to the employee than he was expecting.  He was named in the case and in the media, so will appear on social media searches going forward, if those are done by any prospective employer.  That may put employers off hiring him, which is not the result he would have hoped for.

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