An employer ordered to pay a former employee $23,000 by the Employment Relations Authority has lost a bid for a stay of execution of the decision.

The Employment Relations Authority (ERA) awarded David Crichton $23,000 in lost wages and compensation in March, after his employer identified him as the source of accusations that colleagues had been using drugs on the worksite.

Crichton's former employer was not present or represented at the ERA investigation meeting, but member of the authority Michael Loftus found that Crichton's employment was untenable, despite not being formally dismissed.

In the ERA decision his employer was identified as TD Drilling 2014 Ltd and TD Drilling Ltd.


The authority decided that Crichton was employed by both of the plaintiffs and, as a result, they were held jointly and severally liable.

In the Employment Court, the plaintiffs did not make submissions on the stay of execution they sought, other than to say Crichton's employer was TD Drilling 2014 Ltd.

Crichton had been working for the company from November 2014 until March 2015, when a number of incidents added up to him leaving the company.

The key incident, according to the ERA, was on February 27, 2015, when Crichton was told by a colleague that co-workers were "taking drugs" in a van on the worksite.

The next day the foreman on the worksite gathered all staff and told everyone Crichton had reported alleged drug use on the worksite.

Crichton was concerned for his safety and feared retalitory action from his co-workers and sought support from his boss.

None was provided and Crichton felt he had no other option than to leave the company.

Read the initial decision from the ERA here: