A dry-cleaning worker who claimed she was told she could not wear pants to work and was criticised and threatened after rolling her eyes has lost her case against her former employer.
In March last year, Traci Booth resigned from Coo-ee Drycleaning in Palmerston North, where she worked as a mobile service facility driver.
She claimed she was constructively dismissed - forced to resign. But in a judgment released today the Employment Relations Authority (ERA) has deemed her evidence unreliable.
In a letter to Coo-ee, Ms Booth said a personal grievance existed and she had been "treated badly, bullied, insulted and blamed for things that were not of her doing".
Among the specific claims she made was that her employer Andrew Pearce told her not to wear pants in the workplace, and she found this "confusing and offensive".
She alleged Mr Pearce criticised her for rolling her eyes, saying: "I hate people who do that. If you were a man..."
"The unstated implication is Mr Pearce threatened Ms Booth," the authority judgment said.
Ms Booth also claimed she'd been accused of stealing $10 and was not given training when she asked for it.
In response Coo-ee said all it tried to do was deal with Ms Booth's employment problems.
"Coo-ee contends it did so in a reasonable manner and the claims of harassment and bullying are unsustainable," the judgment said.
The two parties attended a hearing in Palmerston North in May, after which authority member Michael Loftus ruled the constructive dismissal claim had failed.
The onus was on Ms Booth to prove her claims, he said, but she couldn't and her evidence was "inadequate".
Mr Loftus also said it included instances she said she had noted at the time, when it turned out she had not done so.
Other employees told the authority "little untoward had happened" and Mr Loftus said it turned out the issue about not wearing pants was in fact an instruction not to wear jeans.
Ms Booth told NZME News Service although she was disappointed, she would not be appealing the decision.
Her claim was always "doomed" and she was expecting to lose, she said.
"I was hoping I'd win, but the odds were stacked against me."