An employer has been held liable by the Employment Relations Authority after leaving an employee hurt, humiliated and unjustifiably dismissed. Before the dismissal the employer had also disadvantaged the employee in the workplace by changing their role several times.

The employee, a Telemarketing Manager, whose previous role was overseeing telemarketers, was asked to sell merchandise which was not part of her job description. The employee’s pay changed dramatically to a commission basis rather than her hourly wage of $25.

The employer having felt the employee’s performance in this role was unsatisfactory went on to place her in a role below those who she had previously supervised. The employee was told that the role was temporary until a new employment contract could be written up, however that did not eventuate.

The employee’s change of roles severely affected her income and caused her hurt and humiliation when her children were unable to go on school camp.

The Employment Relations Authority found the employer liable to pay $15,922.39 owing in wages over the period when the employer cut the employee’s wages and expected her to be earning by way of commission. The employee also received $17,000 in lost wages after her dismissal. $5,000 was awarded in compensation for the hurt and humiliation experienced and $2,488 for legal costs.


Alan Knowsley

Employment Lawyer