We are pleased to announce that we have had success for our clients in 4 major Employment Relations Authority (ERA) determinations this week totalling just over $71,000 in awards. With the ERA’s Christmas Break behind us and the 2024 year now in full steam, we are happy to see justice for our clients.
Our mission at Sacked Kiwi is to give access to employment justice to everyday people. Too often walls of unaffordable fees prevent ordinary people from accessing justice. We pride ourselves in breaking down the financial barricades to justice and delivering for everyday Kiwis.
Peel to Pip Cafe: $14,000+ Awarded
On the 12th of January, ERA Member Eleanor Robinson found in favour of our client against Deya Investments Limited, the owners of Peel to Pip Cafe, for breaches of the Employment Relations Act (the Act) in its dealing with our client.
The member found Peel to Pip Cafe to have unjustifiably dismissed our client awarding him $6,385.50 in lost wages for 6 weeks of pay he missed out on as a result. The member also determined that our client had suffered Hurt and Humiliation, as set out by s123 (1)(c)(i) of the Act and awarded him $8,000.00 in compensation. Even though our client did not have a written Employment Contract and worked for Peel to Pip Cafe based on a verbal agreement he was still able to make a claim, highlighting the importance of understanding that not having a written employment agreement is not a barrier to justice.
We are pleased to see justice delivered to our client and wish him the best of luck with future employment.
Agri-lab Co-Products Limited: $36,000+ Awarded
On the 17th of January, ERA Member Sarah Kennedy-Martin found in favour of our client against Agri-lab Co-Products Limited, known as Agri-lab, for multiple breaches of the Employment Relations Act (the Act) in its dealings with our client. The authority ultimately found that our client was disadvantaged and constructively dismissed by Agri-Lab.
The member found that this was done through the creation of an unsafe working environment and a toxic environment in which our client was afraid to speak up out of fear of repercussions. The determination sets out that our client had not received the proper training on top of misleading instructions to chemically clean a tank which led to a potentially fatal workplace incident.
Agri-labs response to the incident was also then determined to be improper by the member. The response to the potentially fatal chemical mishap was a cardboard sign in Sharpie telling employees to simply google how to avoid the incident. This, on top of contentious repeated blaming of our client for the incident well past the incident, ultimately created a physically unsafe working environment for our client.
The continuous prolonged blaming of our client for the incident in combination with several written warnings issued in quick succession and without proper process was determined, by the authority, to disadvantage our client ultimately pushing him to resign.
The member ultimately awarded our client $11,960.00 in wage recovery for the 13 weeks it took him to find new employment.
The member also determined that our client had suffered Hurt and Humiliation, as set out by s123 (1)(c)(i) of the Act, awarding him $25,000.00.
Too often bad employers push good-meaning employees to resign due to improper adherence to their legal obligations under the Employment Relations Act. The Sacked Kiwi is pleased to see the scales of justice tip in our favour again.
Concrete Structures (NZ) Limited: $13,000+ Awarded
On the 11th of January, ERA Member Rowan Anderson found in favour of our client against Concrete Structures (NZ) Limited, known as Concrete Structures, for unjustifiably dismissing our client through an email.
While our client’s former employer alleges our client abandoned his contract, the member found that our client was unjustifiably dismissed by email before the 3 working days limit for being absent from work. This meant he had not abandoned his contract. He was found to be unjustifiably dismissed due to the lack of procedure and justifiable substance for the dismissal.
The member ultimately awarded our client $2,929.50 in wage recovery for the 28 days of work.
The member also determined that our client had suffered Hurt and Humiliation, as set out by s123 (1)(c)(i) of the Act, awarding him $10,500.00.
Everest Painters and Decorators Limited: $20,000+ Awarded
On the 15th of January, ERA Member Antoinette Baker found in favour of our client against Everest Painters and Decorators Limited, known as Everest, for unjustifiably dismissing our client.
Our client was fired at 7:38 AM for not proceeding to a job site for a day’s work having only been informed of it at 4:41 AM the same day. The member found that her employer had unjustifiably dismissed her through a “poorly communicated” and “immediate[ly] aggressive worded decision to terminate based on an erroneous ‘abandonment’ claim.”
The member determined that our client had suffered Hurt and Humiliation, as set out by s123 (1)(c) of the Act, awarding her $10,00.00.
The member also awarded our client $660.00 in for 22 hours of unpaid final wages, $1,800.00 in wage recovery for the two weeks’ notice, $180.00 in statutory holiday pay, $3,600.00 in undertake annual holiday pay, $916.90 as 8% of total gross earnings for the end of that year, and $1,000.00 for the employer’s breach of s130(2) failure to provide wages and time records.
The member also awarded legal costs to our client in the amounts of $2,250.00 and $71.55 for the filing fee.