'Don't f****** bother I quit' teen fails in job compo

Photo / File
Photo / File

A teenager who flew into a rage when asked by her boss why she hadn't turned up to work at a hair salon has lost her bid for compensation.

Mayson Bradford, 16, appealed to the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) after her job at Zaks of Halswell Hairdressing in Christchurch ended after a month.

She had been working at the salon for a few weeks when she was sent home from work on June 14 because she had hurt her hand in an earthquake the day before.

Ms Bradford went to a doctor nearby and was given a medical certificate keeping her off work for 48 hours.

One of her roles as as a hairdressing junior was to open the salon in the morning.

However, when she did not return to work two days after her medical certificate had lapsed, one of the salon's co-owners, Anita Good, called her to see where she was.

ERA member James Crichton was given differing accounts of the phone conversation that ensued.

Ms Good said she simply sought an explanation from Ms Bradford as to where she was, and to reminded her of her obligation to keep her employer informed of her comings and goings.

However, Ms Bradford's recollection of the conversation was "in an entirely different light."

She told the ERA that when Ms Good rang her she was very angry with her, referred to multiple customers waiting on the doorstep, said her heart was not in the right place and demanded she return the salon key as soon as she could.

Ms Bradford said she took that telephone exchange, as she remembered it, as an indication that she had been dismissed.

Mr Crichton found Ms Bradford had "developed further and more serious symptoms of ill health" which stopped her from coming back to work.

During a second phone conversation, which Ms Bradford denied occurred, Ms Good said Ms Bradford flew into a rage, began swearing profusely and eventually concluded the exchange with the words "don't f****** bother I quit".

Ms Good said she told Ms Bradford that if that was her position then she should bring in her keys and her uniform as soon as possible.

Mr Crichton said he was satisfied the second telephone discussion did occur.

"It is a relatively extraordinary state of affairs that a young employee would completely overlook a significant telephone discussion that she had had with her employer, but that appears to be the position in this case.

"It may be that Ms Bradford is embarrassed about the language that she used in the discussion, embarrassed about losing the job that she so valued as a consequence of a burst of bad temper."

Mr Crichton concluded that while Ms Bradford has a personal grievance, "her complete contribution to its circumstances make her wholly responsible for it and deprives her of any remedies".

Ms Good said she was happy with the ERA's ruling but declined to comment further.

Ms Bradford could not be reached for comment.

- APNZ

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