The Employment Relations Authority has upheld a claim by a law clerk that they were unjustifiably disadvantaged by their employer.  The employer had issued a verbal warning in relation to her work practices.  However, the warning was issued before the employer gave the employee an opportunity to comment on the reasons for the warning and was therefore invalid.  The ERA found that the warning should not have been given until the employee had been told of the allegations relating to performance and given an opportunity to respond to the allegations first. Giving the warning first showed that the decision had been predetermined.

The ERA awarded $2,000 compensation for disadvantage over the verbal warning.

The employee also brought complaints of bullying and constructive dismissal but both of those were rejected by the Employment Relations Authority.  The employer’s requirements for the employee to follow proper processes with her work were not unreasonable and the employee’s decision to resign from her work was not as a result of any improper actions by the employer.


Alan Knowsley
Employment Lawyer Wellington