Business fined for 90-day law abuse
An Auckland company that wrongly used the 90-day trial law to sack a worker was ordered to pay more than $10,000 to atone for their error.
Diesel mechanic Sahim Mohammed had done the same job for nearly two years but problems arose when his old boss sold the business - Grafton's Pro Auto Panel and Paint Ltd - to Abdul Hassan.
Over the Christmas period last year Mohammed was short changed two weeks wages, which he told the Employment Relations Authority, put great strain on his family.
On February 23, before starting work, Mohammed confronted Hassan about the overdue wages.
The mechanic tried to explain he needed to pay rent and buy fuel but his boss berated him loudly in front of other staff in the workshop.
Because Mohammed did not have an employment contract Hassan told him he could fire him within the 90-day period for no reason, and promptly sent him home.
The two did not contact each other again and the authority, in a recently released decision, found the company's actions constituted unjustified dismissal.
The authority said there had to be a written provision in an employment agreement regarding a trial for it to be deemed appropriate.
Hassan had to reimburse Mohammed for lost wages, compensate him for "loss of dignity", cover his costs for the hearing and pay a penalty - a total of $10,050.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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