A young kiwi tradie has been awarded NZ$20,000 after he was allegedly told to “harden up” and subsequently fired.
Jack Lane was working for a roofing company in Palmerston North when he advised them he needed a day off due to being sick. The text message reply was rather blunt:
“Harden up or no more job”.
Lane figured that was a threat to his job, and when he questioned it the response was rather clear:
“Don’t bother turning up. Over you wasting my time.”
This time it was quite clear to Lane that his employment was being terminated. When he asked about his final pay four days later, the response wasn’t exactly positive:
“U can fuck rite off mate.”
The New Zealand Herald reports that Lane did not receive his final wages or holiday pay that was owing.
The Employment Relations Authority ruled that the young roofer was unfairly dismissed, and that the employer must pay a total of NZ$20,037.
This was made up of NZ$3,300 in unpaid wages, NZ$12,000 for “humiliation, loss of dignity and injury to feelings” with the remainder being holiday pay and other costs.
Lane’s employer refutes some of the claims and intends to appeal the decision.
The lessen for other trade business owners would be to follow the correct procedures when terminating an employee, or risk having it cost you a whole lot more.