A mobile security officer has been dismissed after using threatening and offensive language towards staff and management. The employee became frustrated when he discovered that his run had been changed without his consultation.

The Employment Relations Authority has upheld the employee’s personal grievance claim for unjustified dismissal.

The ERA held that the employer failed to act as a fair and reasonable employer could in the circumstances by failing to conduct a full and sufficient investigation.

The ERA found that the employee was never given access to all of the relevant information surrounding the allegations of his serious misconduct as the employer was concerned about the safety of other staff members. The ERA held that there was no valid safety concerns as the employee already knew who had complained about him and the serious allegations which they had made. Additionally, the employee was not provided with a copy of the company rules which he was being judged against. As a result, the employee had no opportunity to properly respond to the employer’s concerns.

The disciplinary process was also flawed in that the employee was given no opportunity to comment on his proposed dismissal.

The ERA awarded $7,540 for lost wages plus $5,000 compensation. These amounts were reduced by 50 per cent because of the employee’s own contribution to his dismissal.


Alan Knowsley

Employment Lawyer Wellington