A drunk chef who "terrorised" customers at a foodcourt was justifiably fired, the Employment Relations Authority has ruled.

Jeewan Singh was sacked from his job at Tandoori Knights in the International Food Court on Auckland's Queen St after police were called over his reckless and loud behaviour in August last year.

The restaurant's manager, Abbas Froozanfarn, told the authority Mr Singh had a drinking problem and would often arrive at work drunk or not turn up at all.

Mr Froozanfarn said that on the day of his dismissal, Mr Singh was "drunk and abusive and was effectively terrorising customers at the food hall". When police were called, he ran away.


Mr Singh denied having a drinking problem, being drunk at work and being abusive. He accused Tandoori Knights of not paying him and not giving him an employment agreement.

But authority member James Crichton said his evidence was unconvincing and that records clearly showed he was paid weekly.

"The wage and time record also notes the regular occasions when Mr Singh was presenting for work drunk and/or when he was 'AWOL'."

He said there was an employment agreement but it was unsigned. Mr Froozanfarn said Mr Singh refused to sign it.

"The authority thinks that the dismissal was entirely justified, Mr Singh having been found to be drunk and abusive of patrons of Tandoori Knights and other patrons," the authority said.

Mr Crichton said some behaviour was so serious an employer could not reasonably be expected to take any action other than to dismiss the employee.