Pierced, reverse-cap, low-slung storeman rightly sacked

CHRIS GARDNER
Last updated 05:00 19/03/2014

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A Hamilton man sacked for a long list of misdemeanours including wearing rings through his lips and nose, his baseball cap backwards and low-slung trousers was fairly dismissed, according to the Employment Relations Authority.

Jaron Cooper's claim that he was unjustifiably dismissed from his store support job by Resene Automotive and Light Industrial was thrown out by authority member Eleanor Robinson after a hearing in Hamilton this month.

Cooper, who worked three days a week at the Hamilton branch and two days at the Tauranga branch between April and August, was sacked for serious misconduct.

His employer's northern area sales manager Kevin Johnson told the hearing Cooper had worn ear hoops at both job interviews but there was no objection because they were covered by his hair.

But when he appeared at work with two lip rings he was told he would have to remove them if there were any customer comments or complaints. A major customer complained. Staff also had concerns about his timekeeping.

Johnson was told not to wear rings through his lips and to wear his cap with the brim at the front.

After a further conversation he was sent a letter outlining the business's concerns in detail.

Cooper later caused more concern when he turned up at work with a nose ring and left early, leaving three pallets unloaded, without permission. A formal disciplinary meeting was called.

Another customer complained about Cooper's service, including that he had "trousers which almost fell down when he stood up".

Cooper told his employer he was unable to remove the nose ring unless it was "cut out" with expert assistance.

Cooper was dismissed because, Johnson said, he seemed "to have shown a complete disregard for what you were told to do and had no intention to follow instructions".

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