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2009 Publications

4 March 2010

Over recent months there have been a few interesting cases where employers have obtained remedies against their former workers. The case the Auckland Regional Council took against Ketuni Tilialo is rather amazing for the sheer audacity of what went on.

Mr Tilialo worked for the Auckland Regional Council as the programme manager at one of the council's departments. He was in a reasonably senior position and had authority to authorise expenditure on the council's behalf for up to $50,000 on any single transaction. More...

17 October 2009

Employment contracts place obligations on both parties. Almost all cases before the Employment Relations Authority and Employment Court are brought by workers suing their employer.

One exception relates to restraints of trade. Another exception has recently had more use. More...

3 October 2009

Sean Miller was an employee of Fonterra until November 2002 when his employment was terminated on the grounds of redundancy.

In 2004, he, along with others, were charged with an offence under the Crimes Act in relation to the "Powdergate" dairy product export scandal. More...

12 September 2009

Natural justice in almost all circumstances requires that an accuser's identity is revealed.

Readers will be aware of the case of a woman dismissed from Hutt Hospital for inappropriately looking up patient records. The employer received an anonymous letter under the Protected Disclosures Act, alleging that an employee had been accessing patient records. More...

31 August 2009

Readers will have seen the recent news about engineers employed by a Telecom subsidiary picketing outside Telecom offices.

The engineers are complaining because 600 of them are to be made redundant. Telecom has contracted out their work to an Australian firm, Visionstream. It appears that Visionstream is going to offer work to the affected engineers anyway, so why so much protest? More...

7 August 2009

In September 2006 an employee of one of the airlines operating in New Zealand failed a random drugs test and was dismissed. The Employment Relations Authority ordered that the employee's identity was not to be published. Let's call him Mr X. More...

22 July 2009

Phillip Dickson was employed by IHC through a company called Idea Services. He was paid a sleepover allowance when he was sleeping in the group home for intellectually disabled people he worked in.

His freedom to do as he wished was constrained and he had responsibilities during his sleepover period. His work benefited the employer. Mr Dickson said that he should be paid the minimum wage when he slept over and not just the sleepover allowance because he said he was working. More...

4 July 2009

Alison Wheeler was dismissed as a police officer because she claims colleagues thought she was "too posh" for the police.

The 39-year-old former officer with Surrey police in England was fired after colleagues accused her of standing by while a fellow officer was punched and kicked to the ground outside the front doors of her police station in New Zealand Ave, Walton. More...

18 June 2009

Our firm has had a number of inquiries about whether an employer is liable to pay the wages of its workers who might be off work because of swine flu.

If an employee is ill, whether because of swine flu or for any other sickness, the normal rules apply. That means that if an employee has sick leave owing, they will be paid sick leave while they are away. If they do not have sick leave when they are too sick to report to work, they will be on leave without pay. More...

6 June 2009

Tiemaen Corporaal was employed as a farm manager by Grant and Megan Catley on their sharemilking farm in Whakatane.

Mr Corporaal was made redundant in April 2008. He claimed he had been unjustifiably disadvantaged in employment and unjustifiably dismissed. More...

23 May 2009

Truck driver Bruce Douglas was dismissed by Godfrey Haulage Limited by telephone for being too fat. He won his case for unjustified dismissal before the Employment Relations Authority this month.

Mr Douglas applied for the job and attended an interview in Mt Maunganui. He also attended a pre- employment medical examination with the employer's occupational health nurse. He was drug tested. More...

9 May 2009

Screening is regularly employed when looking for new employees, often on the basis of skills and experience. But some employers take it too far.

Male managers at Gama Aviation have been outed for their vetting criteria for executive aircraft flight attendants. Women who applied for the positions could only get the job if they were "young, slim and single". More.

25 April 2009

The Employment Court at Wellington recently delivered a further decision in a case bought by James Jesudhass against Just Hotel Ltd.

Mr Jesudhass was awarded significant compensation for an unjustified suspension and an unjustified dismissal. More...

4 April 2009

Readers may recall the fines and reparation payment orders made against the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre coming to about $480,000. Six students and a teacher died at the centre. More...

14 March 2009

One of the ideas at the recent jobs summit was to have people work a nine-day fortnight. Prime Minister John Key this week announced the major details of how the Government will manage a nine-day working fortnight.

Such a proposal is fraught with legal fish hooks. More...

28 February 2009

For an employer to hire an immigrant worker in New Zealand, the worker is required to hold a work visa or work permit. It is an offence under the Immigration Act for an employer to hire a worker knowing they do not hold a valid visa or permit.

The situation becomes more complicated when an employer hires a worker in such circumstances regardless. More...

31 January 2009

Since the early 1970s we have had legislation in New Zealand to protect people from discrimination.

The Human Rights Act 1993 prohibits discrimination on a wide range of grounds including race, colour, ethnic or national origins. It also prevents discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation, age, religious and ethical belief and disability. More...

Cullen - The Employment Law Firm was one of the first eleven law firms in New Zealand approved to provide employment law services to Government and the public sector.

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