A former Work and Income manager behaved so badly a judge agreed she should have been sacked, despite her bosses failing to follow correct procedures.
Jane Drader lost her job at the Work and Income Kerikeri office in March last year after she accessed confidential files by looking up a client's phone number and threatening the woman, causing the client to flee her home. The threat followed a scuffle a few days earlier at a restaurant where Ms Drader alleged the client bottled her in the head.
In a decision released this month, Employment Court Judge Barry Travis found Work and Income failed to follow correct disciplinary procedures.
However, he said Ms Drader's bad behaviour had been "so substantial" that compensation was not warranted, in spite of "substantive failures" in her dismissal process.
The failures included managers not taking notes at a disciplinary meeting after the incident, and her not being given details of the client's version of events.
Ms Drader, who had worked at the Kerikeri office for 16 years, had appealed against an Employment Relations Authority decision in March that found her dismissal justified.
The client told the authority she had moved out of her home with her children, and avoided both the Work and Income office and business district of Kerikeri.
Ms Drader admitted she had accessed confidential client records without authorisation for her own personal use, and had called the client and made threats.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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