The Employment Relations Authority has rejected the defence raised by a law firm that it had paid its former employee with a cheque that had been sent and not returned.  The payment was supposed to pay the orders made by the Employment Relations Authority against the law firm.

The ERA held that payment had not been made just because a cheque had been posted.  In this case the cheque was sent to an address where the plaintiff had never resided and it was supposedly sent after the law firm had claimed that it had made a direct debit to the plaintiff of the amount owed.  That payment was never received either.

Orders were made by the Authority for payment of the sums within 14 days.

The Authority advised the defendant law firm that should payment not be made within that time frame that it had the power to order imprisonment for up to three months and a fine for up to $40,000.  Perhaps the defendant will take legal advice (other than from itself) before failing to pay again.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer