A former Domino's pizza worker has won $15,000 for lost wages and hurt feelings after "having the rug pulled out from under her feet".
On November 6, 2020, Kirti Kirti resigned from her role as assistant manager after the Domino's franchise owner Shi Wang, pulled out of a prior agreement to support her in an application to renew her work visa.
The former employee, who was dating the store manager at the time, claimed the decision was unfairly made and her resignation on that day led to a constructive dismissal.
In late September that year, Kirti had asked Wang for support in seeking a new work visa due to her existing visa expiring.
Wang had previously supported the visa applications of other employees and agreed to the request.
She arranged for Kirti to visit her house on October 8 to sign the new employment agreement which described the position as permanent, full-time and salaried.
But Wang didn't honour the agreement, failing to notify Kirti of the upcoming sale of the company and what this could mean for her visa application.
Wang began looking at selling the franchise in February 2020, with a sale process underway around mid-October and completed by mid-to-late November.
Wang did not get confirmation that the sale would go ahead until December 4 and the sale was settled on December 7, 2020.
As a part of the visa application process the franchise owner Frozen Age Limited [FAL], which Wang was director of, needed to prove there were no other suitable local workers for the role.
Kirti arranged the advertisement but the responses to this advertisement would go to Wang. After attempting to contact Wang, Kirti never heard back.
An upset Kirti told the Employment Relations Authority of her disappointment in not knowing sooner to prevent further unemployment.
"I was embarrassed because I had to borrow money from friends to make ends meet until I could get a new visa and find another job," Kirti said.
"I was shocked by having the rug pulled out from under my feet."
The purchaser of Domino's decided not to offer a job to Kirti based on what Wang had told her about the relationship between the manager, Prabh Narula, and Kirti.
Wang said the purchaser told her that she did not want employees who were in a "husband and wife" type relationship because it could cause problems in the workplace.
Kirti was awarded $3680 in lost wages for the period of around 100 days from
November 6 until she found another job in mid-February 2021.
She was also awarded $12,000 as compensation for humiliation, loss of dignity and
injury to her feelings.