The Employment Court has granted an appeal by an employee against his dismissal.  The Employment Relations Authority had upheld the dismissal but this has now been overturned by the Court.

The employee was asked to work on a public holiday but when he arrived at work he was told he was not needed.  He denied receiving a text telling him not to come in.  He claimed for pay for the time at work and a day in lieu, but this was rejected by his manager who did not discuss it, or tell him of the decision.

When the employee discovered he had not been paid an argument developed and the employee swore at his manager, and made rude gestures, before walking off.

He was dismissed for misconduct by the same manager he swore at.  The Court said that in a large organisation a separate manager should have conducted the disciplinary investigation, and that the dismissal was not justified.  It would amount to misconduct, but not serious misconduct, given the employee’s previous good record and the lack of communication from his manager.

The main lesson to be remembered from this case is that the complainant on the receiving end of the rude behavior should also not be the investigator and decision maker.  The complainant cannot act impartially and without bias.  Get a different manager to do the interviews and make the disciplinary decisions.

The employee’s personal grievance was upheld, and he was awarded three months wages and can apply for reinstatement.

If you need help with a disciplinary process give me a call on (04) 473 6850.