An employee who worked as a Service Technician has had his personal grievance claim for unjustified dismissal upheld by the Employment Relations Authority.

The employee was due to attend a disciplinary meeting concerning lateness and unauthorised absence, when his friend (who was acting as his support person) stole a bar fridge which he had left outside his work premises. The employee was then dismissed for orchestrating the theft.

The ERA held that the employer failed to act as a fair and reasonable employer would in the circumstances as they failed to conduct a sufficient investigation into the events, and had already made up their mind as to the employee’s guilt before completing enquires.

The ERA awarded over $8,200 for lost wages and holiday pay, plus over $5,200 compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity, and injury to feelings.