The Employment Relations Authority has ordered an abusive employer to pay over $45,000 after he bullied and dismissed an employee.

The employer and employee had a good relationship for over a year. The employer left to travel overseas. He offered to pay the employee an additional $400 per week to manage the business in his absence.

The employer returned three and a half weeks later, but only paid the employee for three weeks of management. The employee asked to be paid for the additional half week he had been running the business.  This caused the employer to become angry and act abusively toward the employee.

The employee took two days off work to look after sick family. During this time, the employer turned up at the employee’s house and abused the employee in the street until he handed over the keys to the work van.

The employer later texted the employee stating that he had quit, threatening him, and challenging the employee to take him to court.

The Authority held that the employer had unjustifiably dismissed the employee. It ordered the employer to pay the employee $25,000 compensation for humiliation and injury to feelings, $13,475 for lost wages, and $2,568 in holiday pay. The Authority also penalised the employer $5,000 for failing to pay the employee’s holiday pay upon dismissal, and to deter future similar conduct.

When involved in disagreements with employees, it is important act respectfully and in accordance with required legal processes. Failure to do so may result in significant penalties being ordered. If an employer has acted abusively or failed to meet your legal entitlements, 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.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer