An Australian company has been fined $25,000 after not giving a Wellington worker his job back despite a court ordering his reinstatement.
Broadspectrum, which operates in a broad range of industries from offshore Pacific Island detention centres to telecommunications and mining sectors, is locked in an ongoing employment saga with Wellington lines mechanic Jason Nathan.
Nathan was dismissed from the company in 2013 after an incident involving repairs to the network used by Wellington's trolley buses.
Two years later he won a personal grievance case in the Employment Relations Authority, which ordered he be reinstated.
Ghe Employment Court then last year ordered he be returned to his former position. But even after Broadspectrum was denied the right to take a case to the Court of Appeal in May, Nathan was not immediately returned to his former duties.
The court in June ordered Broadspectrum to adhere to the earlier ruling.
Nathan then took further action to the court, alleging the company continued to breach the order by not returning him to his former duties.
Judge Kerry Smith this month said he was satisfied that Broadspectrum remained in breach of the order because it had not returned Nathan to active duties.
"It has consistently said that it is entitled to test his competency and that he will not be allowed to take up active duties until and unless it is satisfied that he is competent. In other words, Broadspectrum reserves to itself the exclusive ability to determine whether or not the court order will be obeyed," Judge Smith said.
Although Broadspectrum had tried to find some tasks for Nathan, it was not enough, the judge said.
"That is too little and too late and is insufficient to cure the breach," he said.
"The nature of this default is that it is deliberate. It is ongoing and it is perfectly plain that Broadspectrum has no intention of complying unless compelled to do so."
The judge fined Broadspectrum $25,000 and ordered $10,000 of that be paid to Nathan.