Unsurprisingly the Employment Relations Authority has upheld an employee’s personal grievance for unjustified dismissal after he was assaulted and sworn at by his employer and told in abusive language to leave the work site.

The employee had been working on machinery and wearing earmuffs and goggles when the employer suddenly appeared next to him.  The employer proceeded to push and shove the employee and hit the employee’s hard hat off his head, yelling at him to get off the premises in very colourful language.

The employer claimed the employee was carrying out his work dangerously and that the actions were justified.  The ERA disagreed.  The employer should have shut down the machinery and spoken to the employee in a calm manner to deal with any safety concerns.

The ERA awarded lost wages ($2,600) and compensation ($4,000) for the manner of the dismissal and hurt suffered.