An employee who worked as a truck driver has had his personal grievance for unjustified dismissal upheld by the Employment Relations Authority due to the employer’s failure to follow a fair process.

The employee was stopped by police for a routine vehicle check. The employee failed to produce his log book and failed to remain stationary while the officer checked his vehicle. The employee then refused to give his details and drove away. The police pursued and pepper sprayed him after he resisted arrest.

The ERA found that the employer failed to act as a fair and reasonable employer could in the circumstances by only advising the employee of their concerns for his behaviour in general terms. The employer also failed to provide the employee with all the relevant information that was influential in their decision-making. This information was only given to the employee half way through the disciplinary meeting and no opportunity was given to him to consider or obtain advice before giving his response. The ERA stated that this information should have been included in the letter informing the employee of disciplinary proceedings.

The ERA awarded $5,000 compensation for hurt and humiliation but reduced this amount by 80 per cent for the employee’s own contribution to his dismissal.


Alan Knowsley

Employment Lawyer