A tow truck driver for a car wrecking company who was dismissed twice in two days has won a case for unjustified dismissal and with it more than $8000 in compensation.

Keith Taafuli was employed by Lower Hutt firm Mega Wreckers in February last year in a role which entailed driving a tow truck and collecting vehicles his employer had arranged to purchase, the Employment Relations said in a decision released today.

He claimed he was unjustifiably dismissed by Mega Wreckers in March.

Mr Taafuli was first dismissed by the company's manager Mohamad Hossaini on March 14, when he queried why he had not received outstanding wages, the authority heard.


However, the following morning Mr Taafuli was telephoned by Mr Hossaini and asked to come back in to work.

When reminded he had dismissed Mr Taafuli the previous day, Mr Hossaini said they would "work something out".

He then asked Mr Taafuli to go to purchase a vehicle from a customer on his way to work and to use his final wages to pay the client.

Mr Taafuli obliged but there was a disagreement over whether the client was paid $200 or $300 for the vehicle.

Despite a signed receipt for $300, Mr Hossaini called the woman who was paid for the car, who said said she had received only $200, the authority heard.

Mr Taafuli told the authority he was again dismissed, this time for his alleged dishonesty.

Authority member Trish MacKinnon found Mr Taafuli did not contribute to the situation leading to his dismissal.

"I am not persuaded that he gave the customer only $200 for her vehicle in light of the receipt she signed acknowledging she had received $300."


Ms MacKinnon also found his dismissal to have been unjustified.

The authority ordered Mega Wreckers to pay Mr Taafuli $603 for wages arrears, $142 for unpaid holiday pay, $1661 in reimbursements, plus $6000 in compensation.

Mega Wreckers was also ordered to pay a $750 penalty into a Crown account.