A manager was dismissed by his employer after he handed in a medical certificate which required him to take two weeks sick leave. The employee was injured by the employer after he pushed him during an altercation about wages owed.

The Employment Relations Authority upheld the employee’s personal grievance claim for unjustified dismissal. The employer followed no process when dismissing the employee. The employer failed to raise concerns with the employee regarding his inability to obey instructions, and gave him no reasonable opportunity to respond to these concerns. The employer was therefore unable to genuinely consider his explanations prior to terminating the employee.

The ERA awarded $3,000 compensation but reduced the remedy by 15 per cent due to the employee’s own contribution to the dismissal. The employee had tried to prevent the employer from leaving the room during their discussion, and this had caused the minor assault. The ERA also declined to make an order for lost wages as the employee chose not to seek work after his dismissal. The employer was therefore only ordered to pay $2,550.

It is important that employees take adequate steps to mitigate their loss otherwise they risk losing out on reparation!