Air New Zealand is fighting the return to work of a pilot who slept with a flight attendant and drank the night before a flight.
Employment Court Judge Mark Perkins ordered the airline's subsidiary Air Nelson to give the man, who has name suppression, his job back. The court also ordered he be paid $10,000 compensation and $51,000 for lost wages.
Air NZ is seeking leave from the Court of Appeal to contest Judge Perkins' decision.
The pilot's lawyer, John Haigh, QC, said his client would resist the application. In the interim both parties had agreed to a stay on Judge Perkins' orders.
It's a dispute which dates to a boozy session in May 2008 when the pilot had sex with a 19-year-old woman. He was dismissed after an internal investigation found his actions amounted to serious misconduct.
The woman claimed she was too drunk for the sex to be consensual, though the pilot said she initiated the affair.
Evidence from a third staff member confirmed the woman had acted in a provocative manner with two men.
The trio lay on a bed together while the woman asked to be spanked and showed her breasts.
All three have permanent name suppression.
The pilot and the flight attendant were then left alone in the bed. The 19-year-old later said she could not remember what happened from midnight until she woke up in the bed.
Distressed, she phoned two friends and her father early the next morning, saying she thought they'd had sex which was not consensual.
Police investigated her complaint but did not lay charges, and the woman laid a complaint of sexual harassment with Air Nelson.
The employment investigation also focused on whether the pilot had breached company alcohol policy.
The Herald understands Air New Zealand's grounds for appeal includes whether the Employment Court applied sections of the Employment Relations Act correctly, and whether it took into account the airline's aviation statutory and regulatory responsibilities.By Yvonne Tahana Email Yvonne