The Employment Relations Authority decision was made last week.
The owners of the Springfield Hotel in Canterbury have been ordered to pay former employee Tracy Tahuhu $26,000. Tahuhu raised a personal grievance over allegations owner Blair Wallace had verbally abused her on multiple occasions. Wallace emailed Tahuhu the same day requesting she return her keys because she was a ‘security risk’. She was locked out of the online payroll system and discovered her final pay had been calculated. This led her to believe she had been dismissed without notice. Wallace disputed the claims. The authority noted owner’s lack of engagement in the employment dispute process. The Authority found Tahuhu had been unjustifiably disadvantaged because of the abuse. Tahuhu had also suffered an underlying trauma earlier in life, and it was clear this made her more vulnerable to personal criticism. The Authority also ruled that the timing of the dismissal was ‘retaliatory and arbitrary.’ Hotel management are exploring options to appeal the ruling.
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