Worker told boss 'I know where you live'

Last updated 08:57 12/12/2012

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A man who claimed he was unjustifiably fired after threatening his supervisor and telling him to "f**k off" has lost a second challenge over his job loss.

Tangianau Here had worked for Auckland company McAlpine Hussman Ltd for 23 years when he was dismissed in 2010 after two separate incidents.

Here took his case to the Employment Relations Authority - which rejected his claim - and then challenged it at the Employment Court, which also ruled in the company's favour.

The first incident took place in July 2010, when Here told his supervisor, Dave McAuley, to "f**k off" after he checked if work assigned to Here had been completed.

Here was given a written warning requiring there be "no further incident of using abusive language with any member of staff or other person associated with the company - effective immediately".  

The warning was to remain for 12 months.

Less than six months later, on December 6, 2010, McAuley told Here to do something, but when he checked five minutes later, he found him talking to another employee.  

Here said they were talking about how the task should be completed, but McAuley told them there was no need for discussion.

In the initial employment challenge, the authority was told "Here replied the workplace was not a prison and Mr McAuley retorted that it was not a holiday camp either".

After a few minutes, Here approached McAuley's workbench and shouted he had better not make another complaint about him.

The authority decision notes he also told McAuley "I know where you live".

At a meeting after the December incident, Here admitted making the comment and gave factory manager Kevin Atkins a letter apologising to McAuley in which he said he meant no harm or malice.

Here was then fired.

"Mr Here's behaviour constituted serious misconduct," Employment Court judge Christina Inglis said in her findings.

McAuley had been so concerned he reported the threat to police and contacted his home security company, the court decision reads.

Judge Inglis said while Here wrote a letter of apology, it was "diluted in force" and he did not fully accept responsibility for his actions.

"It was reasonable for Mr Atkins to have regard to potential safety issues in the circumstances," she said.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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