The Employment Relations Authority has upheld a constructive dismissal claim brought by a kindergarten teacher.  The teacher had raised allegations of bullying against her manager and was placed on leave during the investigation.  The investigation by the employer did not uphold any of the teacher’s complaints of bullying. Instead a letter to the teacher told her that, if she was to return to work, she had to agree to a return to work plan and that that would be in full and final settlement of any complaints she had about her treatment by the kindergarten manager.

The ERA held that treating her refusal to return to work, under those terms, as a resignation was an unjustified dismissal.  The ERA awarded $15,000 compensation for humiliation and $83,000 in unpaid wages for the 17 months she was out of work.

Alan Knowsley

Employment & Education Lawyer