A twenty-one year old employee has been dismissed from his employment on grounds that he was too young, was under-performing and had asperger’s syndrome.

The Employment Relations Authority upheld the employee’s personal grievance claim for unjustified dismissal.

The ERA found that the employer failed to act as a fair and reasonable employer could in all of the circumstances by dismissing the employee for poor performance without first undertaking a formal disciplinary process. In failing to do so, the employee was given no opportunity to provide an explanation or to remedy his behaviour.

The ERA also noted that discrimination on the basis of age and disability are prohibited grounds for dismissal.

The ERA found that age discrimination was a factor in the decision to dismiss the employee who responded to a job advertisement which was advertising for a worker “50 years or below”. The employee was also advised in his interview that the employer was looking for someone in their 40s.

The employer also dismissed the employee after the employee disclosed that he suffered from asperger’s syndrome, and that he was receiving a benefit for the disability.

The ERA awarded the employee three months lost wages plus $5,000 compensation for hurt and humiliation.