Sophie Ryan is online editor for the Business Herald

Worker fired for age and disability

New World Market Ltd had breached the Employment Relations Act by advertising the warehouse position for someone "50 years or below". Photo / File
New World Market Ltd had breached the Employment Relations Act by advertising the warehouse position for someone "50 years or below". Photo / File

A man has been awarded $5000 after the Employment Relations Authority found that he was unfairly fired from a job and discriminated against for his age and having Asperger's Syndrome.

Lichen Wang worked at east Auckland warehouse New World Market Ltd from December 2014 until January 2015 when he said he was dismissed.

Wang took a claim of unjustifiable dismissal and discrimination against his former employer in the ERA. His former employer responded to the claims by saying Wang resigned voluntarily and denied discriminating against Wang.

He began work on a trial period of two weeks, but after a week he was told he was needed to improve his work efficiency.

Two weeks later, Wang's personal belongings went missing from the staff kitchen.

Wang became extremely upset at the situation and told the ERA at this point he was advised to take two days off work to recover.

The company believed when Wang didn't show up to work the following days he had decided to quit the position.

Member of the Authority Eleanor Robinson said Wang had been unjustifiably dismissed and discriminated against.

Robinson said New World Market Ltd had breached the Employment Relations Act by advertising the warehouse position for someone "50 years or below" and by telling Wang the company wanted to employ a person aged in their 40s.

The authority was told in the hearing that one of the reasons Wang was dismissed was because of his emotional response to his property going missing.

"Mr Wang clearly had a very emotional reaction to the loss of his property, which
could have been exacerbated as a result of his disability," Robinson said in her decision, finding that Wang was discriminated against because of his Apserger's Syndrome.

Robinson awarded Wang to be paid $5000 as compensation for hurt and humiliation.

Read the full decision here:

- NZ Herald

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