Tauranga man awarded $6k after unjustified dismissal

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A Tauranga man has been awarded more than $6000 after being unjustifiably dismissed.

The Employment Relations Authority found Tauranga-based RYH Contracting Limited had lied when it said former labourer Michael Lyttle had resigned without giving adequate notice in October last year.

Mr Lyttle claimed he was unjustifiably dismissed after he told his employer he would be away from work for two weeks because of a back injury, he also provided ACC paperwork to confirm his injury.

Mr Lyttle claimed he spoke to RYH Contracting managing director Russell Harris on October 15 about his injury but said Mr Harris spoke to him in an aggressive manner and with and a harassing attitude.

Mr Harris claimed Mr Lyttle had resigned and tried to use the fact Mr Lyttle left his safety gear at work as evidence the man had resigned, but the authority rejected this.

It also rejected the employer's claim that he told Mr Lyttle his pay would be docked because he had quit suddenly.

Authority officer Rachel Larmer said two separate submissions about Mr Lyttle's so-called resignation from other employees in the workshop were not credible and accused Mr Harris of writing them.

"I do not see how two witnesses can write an identical account in the way that these two witnesses claim to have coincidently done," she said.

Ms Larmer said the loss of Mr Lyttle's job created serious problems for him and his family and caused distress.

Ms Larmer ordered RHY Contracting to pay Mr Lyttle $5000 in compensation.

RYH Contracting was also ordered to pay a further $1223.25 in unpaid wages, holiday pay and equipment fees, as well as Mr Lyttle's legal costs.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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