The Employment Relations Authority has ordered an employer to pay an employee compensation after they suspended them without a proper process. This resulted in an unjustifiable disadvantage to the employee.

The employee got into an argument at work and was abusive and made threats. Their supervisor told the employee to go directly to the office.

Once in the office, the employee was told that she was being suspended while an investigation took place.

The ERA held that although there may have been valid reasons for a suspension to take place, an employer cannot decide to suspend an employee without asking for their input except in very serious cases.

The employee had not been told about the possibility of suspension, the reason for suspension, or given the chance to provide her view on the decision.

This made the employer’s actions unfair.

The Tribunal ordered the employer to pay the employee $15,000 in compensation. The employee was dismissed after the investigation, but it was the suspension without a fair process that got the employer into trouble, not the dismissal.

When dealing with disciplinary matters, it is important to follow the correct process. Failure to do so may result in expensive personal grievances.

If there are concerns around how to correctly conduct a disciplinary process, or how an employer has carried out a process with you, 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