A truck driver has been awarded more than $6000 after he was fired by text - despite only working two weeks.

Driver Perry Morris was hired and fired via text message last year when he worked for small trucking company Sharda Transport.

The sole owner and operator of the business, Karan Sharda, was fined by the Employment Relations Authority for failing to comply with employment obligations.

Firing someone by text message has earned a small company a hefty fine. Photo / Getty
Firing someone by text message has earned a small company a hefty fine. Photo / Getty

Morris had been referred to Sharda by Work and Income New Zealand and was scheduled to have an interview on February 24, 2019.


But Sharda cancelled the interview and instead sent Morris a text instructing him to turn up for work the next day.

Sharda also confirmed the hourly rate of $19 an hour by text message.

As a driver of heavy machinery, Morris was required to take a drug test and complete a dangerous goods course.

He passed both and attempted to get a written employment agreement.

Sharda again messaged and said the pair would meet to discuss but the meeting never eventuated.

Three days later Morris received another text message.

In the text message, Sharda said he had been in a truck accident and was in the hospital. He said he would call later.

That call never came.


A week went by and Morris eventually messaged Sharda saying, "I'm guessing from the lack of communication that there is no job."

He received a message that read "9 am work" however this was quickly followed by one that read

Sorry wrong message due to work and personal matters with truck being off road and will be looking for a fit young person all the best.

This was followed shortly by:

I'm very sorry could not offer you a job no hard feelings mate my apologies and I wish you all the best thanks.

Sharda told the ERA the period of work had been training.

But the authority rejected this and said Sharda had contacted Work and Income looking for a truck driver.

A training or trial period was never mentioned to Morris or to Work and Income.


The ERA found Sharda's company did not act as a fair and reasonable employer would have done.

Morris found employment two weeks after his role with Sharda ended and is still employed by that company.

Sharda was ordered to pay Morris $5000 in compensation, $1520 for the unpaid notice period and $71 to cover the authority's filing fee.