An employee’s personal grievance claim for unjustified and constructive dismissal has been upheld by the Employment Relations Authority.

The employee was a part-time bar manager and was dismissed by the employer after trying to serve hot chips to bar patrons late at night.

The employer was not prepared to feed people who had been drinking at competing bars. The employer was drinking during the incident, and not on duty, but was interfering in the running of the bar anyway.

The ERA said the employer wanted to get rid of the employee after the incident by removing the employee from shifts which they consistently worked. It held that even if the employee had originally been employed on a causal basis, the nature of the employment had changed to a permanent employee.

The ERA found that by reducing the employee’s hours, and thereby affecting their earnings, the employer had effectively forced the employee’s resignation.

The ERA awarded just over $5,300 in lost wages and $3,000 in compensation.