An Auckland car yard worker allegedly told to "f**k off" by his boss has been awarded $2500 for unjustifiable dismissal by the Employment Relations Court.

Morehu (Maurice) Rollo, a yard assistant at Dean Automotive, became involved in the heated discussion with boss Marcus Dean on June 7 last year.

Rollo alleged Dean was "ripping him off" over bereavement leave, believing he was entitled to three days paid leave.

In giving evidence, Rollo alleged Dean told him, "Well if you don't like it you can f**k off".


Rollo said he responded to Dean's comments by saying, "Ok, I'm not going to argue", and placed his keys on his desk and left.

The next day Rollo received his final pay including leave entitlements and one week's pay in lieu of notice.

Dean denied saying "f**k off", but accepted he did say to Rollo at the beginning of the 20-minute heated discussion: "Maurice, if you really feel I'm ripping you off maybe you should work somewhere else."

Dean said Rollo resigned with immediate effect.

In its ruling, the Employment Relations Authority said in these circumstances the "duty of good faith requires Dean to allow a cooling off period before discussing what happened ... to ensure Rollo has genuinely quit or not."

"For an employer to accept a resignation from an agitated employee in these circumstances does not meet the tests for showing this resignation was certain or in the heat of the moment," the Authority stated.

The authority said "Dean's statement alone would be sufficient at law to equate to a sending away or a dismissal."

The authority awarded Rollo $2,500 compensation under section 123(c)(i) and 124 of the Employment Relations Act 2000, and ordered Dean to pay $1,000 contribution towards Rollo's legal costs.


When contacted by the Herald Dean chose not to comment.