The Employment Relations Authority has upheld a personal grievance claim for unjustified dismissal after the employee was dismissed for supposed theft from the workplace, with no proper process.

The employee worked on several worksites around town. When arriving to a worksite one morning, she and another employee noticed that some of the equipment was gone.

The employee informed the employer, who attended the worksite. The employer accused the employee of the theft and sent her home.

The employee attempted to return to work in the following days, but was again sent away and was threatened by a co-worker. The employee did not return to work again.

The Employment Relations Authority held that the employer unjustifiably dismissed the employee. The employer sent the employee away and told her to stay away because he believed that she was a thief.

There was no investigation or opportunity for the employee to respond to the allegations.

The Authority ordered the employer to pay the employee $23,000 in compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity, and injury to feelings.

It is important when an allegation is made against an employee that the appropriate process is followed, including undertaking an investigation and providing the employee an opportunity to respond to the allegations.

Failure to follow the correct process may result in an expensive personal grievance that could quite easily have been avoided.

A link to our guide on how to carry out a disciplinary process can be found here: Employers Guide to the Disciplinary Process.

If there are concerns that an employer has failed to follow the correct process whether it be for disciplinary, performance, or redundancy issues, it is wise to speak with a professional experienced in the area.

Leading law firms committed to helping clients cost-effectively will have a range of fixed-priced Initial Consultations to suit most people’s needs in quickly learning what their options are.  At Rainey Collins we have an experienced team who can answer your questions and put you on the right track.