An employee has won his personal grievance for unjustified disadvantage in the Employment Relations Authority.   The employee finished work but stayed on the premises (the car park) for several hours, talking and socialising with other staff members.

The employer held this to be serious misconduct for bringing the employer into disrepute and for remaining on the premises after work.  It imposed a final warning on the employee who had a four year clean disciplinary record.

The ERA held that the employee’s socialising in the car park did not amount to disorderly behaviour as alleged by the employer.  There was no disorderly behaviour and no complaints from the public or other staff.

It also was not serious misconduct as there was no rule preventing employees from remaining on the premises after work.

The employer was ordered to remove the final warning, and damages were awarded.