A SkyCity worker has won his job back after the Employment Court determined he had been unfairly dismissed.
Keith Hayashi, who was first employed at SkyCity as a games trainer in 1995, was notified of the termination of his employment contract on May 4, 2016.
Hayashi's dismissal arose out of a sequence of events involving a high-rolling customer, who was playing baccarat in one of SkyCity's individual salons.
Over the course of her playing time, it's estimated the gambler lost between $9 million and $12m.
Hayashi arrived at work to take over the sunrise shift, which runs from 3.30am to 12 noon.
Before commencing his work, he attended a meeting where staff was informed that the betting limit on one of the salons had been reduced from $10,000 to $5000. Hayashi understood this to apply to the salon where the high-rolling customer was playing.
Believing this to be the case, Hayashi informed the customer that she was entitled to a refund for any bets placed over the limit minus any winnings. In this case, the refund figure amounted to $310,400.
It was later revealed to Hayashi that the limit did not apply to the salon he was working on.
The customer was informed that a mistake had been made and that she would not be given a refund.
The customer became frustrated by the sudden change in circumstances and demanded that the refund be made. SkyCity relented to the customer request and made the refund for the full amount.
After this SkyCity took action against Hayashi for not following the correct procedures for his role.
At the first hearing, the ERA found in favour of SkyCity but Hayashi challenged this decision.
In its conclusion, Employment Court judge Mark Perkins found that the employment dispute arose out of the confusion caused during the morning staff meeting rather than negligence by the employee.
"This matter got off on the wrong foot from the outset," said Perkins.
"Initially there was lack of clarity in the information given to the management team concerning the betting limits and the confusion which emanated. SkyCity itself admits that confusion arose from the directions which were given at the commencement of the shift."
Perkins determined that Hayashi's dismissal was unjustified on both substantive and procedural grounds.
Perkins added the fact Hayashi was summarily dismissed and the method by which he was immediately removed from the premises were not appropriate.
"Mr Hayashi was not treated fairly or well by SkyCity on this occasion," said Perkins.
The Perkins ordered SkyCity to reimburse Hayashi for all wages and salary lost from the date of his dismissal to the date of the judgment.
Perkins also ordered the reinstatement of Hayashi's position at SkyCity and for him to be placed back on the payroll immediately.
Perkins said that Hayashi's claim for $25,000 for humiliation was a modest amount, particularly in comparison to other cases that have appeared before the court, and also awarded this compensation to him.