A Timaru couple fired after less than two weeks working for a truck washing company have been awarded a total of $40,995.

Cassandra Weaver and Scott Bruning were both dismissed on the spot from by Truck Wash Station owner Clinton Tamatea on March 16 last year.

Weaver had been working for the company for 10 days, Bruning for five.

The pair told an Employment Relations Authority hearing that they had trouble starting their car on March 16.


Before their start time of 7am, Weaver phoned Tamatea to tell him they were running late, and why.

The Truck Wash Station boss (who did not appear at the hearing) replied "sweet as," Weaver told the ERA.

However, when and Bruning arrived, at 7.20am, "Bruning went to the office and says that Mr Tamatea then told him in no uncertain terms that he had a business to run and to piss off," ERA member Helen Doyle recounts in her judgment dated February 26, 2019 and just made public.

Tamatea headed followup correspondence to that verbal dismissal "90-day trial period termination."

However, Doyle found Weaver and Bruning had been wrongfully dismissed.

There was no evidence of serious misconduct. "Mr Bruning was late but Mr
Tamatea was advised well in advance and there was no evidence that there was repeated
lateness which may be a more serious matter," she wrote.

Bruning and Weaver were both awarded three months' wages, or $10,497.50.

Bruning, who said the dismissal had knocked his confidence to the degree he felt unable to apply for other roles until early this year, was also awarded $8000 compensation.


Weaver, who presented evidence her health had suffered as a result of the dismissal, and that it had caused her to lose her rental home and move towns, was awarded $12,000 compensation.