Boss fined for expletive sacking
A digger operator, who was sacked with a volley of expletive-ridden text messages, has been awarded more than $9000 compensation.
Mark Selwyn was fired by the sole director and shareholder of Edwards Drainage - Jason Edwards - after a misunderstanding on October 3 in Mangere.
A truck containing hard-fill arrived on site and Selwyn called his boss to find out where the material should be dumped.
Because of background noise on the phone, the truck was directed to the wrong area and when Edwards discovered the mistake he sent a succession of abusive text messages to Selwyn's phone.
"Hey Mark, you f***wit U put the metal in the wrong f***in place U better sort that job out over @ price or U can f*** off," (sic) the first message said.
After two similar texts, he sent a final one, which the Employment Relations Authority deemed in a recently released decision, was a dismissal.
"F***off then idiot," it read.
Selwyn told the authority he regularly received similar text messages and said there were more explicit threats of violence in August.
"Do as I say or I'll punch you in the head," Edwards told his employee while discussing how to do a job.
The authority sided with Selwyn and as well as distress compensation and holiday pay, ordered the employer to pay for the final week of wages which had not been forthcoming.
Edwards said despite Selwyn being present, he "did not actually do any real work" because his digger needed fixing.
He said it was Selwyn's responsibility to fix the machinery, something the authority rejected.
Though only out of work for three weeks, Selwyn was paid $9048 for the unfair dismissal.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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