An employee’s personal grievance claim for unjustified constructive dismissal has been upheld by the Employment Relations Authority after the ERA found that the employee had been racially abused in the workplace.

The employee resigned as a result of her co-workers taunting her with racial comments, calling her names and yelling and swearing at her in the workplace.

The employee reported most of the incidents to her superiors, however they failed to take her complaints seriously.

The ERA held that the employer failed in its duty to provide a healthy workplace for the employee and noted that there is a fine line between acceptable banter and unacceptable work behaviour. The ERA held that name calling and racist comments were clearly intolerable in the workplace.

The ERA ordered the employer to pay the employee over $9,000 for lost wages plus $12,000 in compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings.

Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer