A fencing contractor fired after allegedly threatening to kill his boss and his children has been awarded $6232 after his boss didn't go about sacking him the right way.
Joshua McClung was fired by his angry employer Darryn Maguire of Fencing Worx (Bay of Plenty) Ltd (FWL) in July 2010 on the spot at a service station after several tense text and verbal exchanges about work.
Mr Maguire said Mr McClung had asked him by text on June 28, 2010 to pay come cash owed by his son Jarrod Maguire to him instead - "b4 he gets killed in jail", a reference to Jarrod Maguire's upcoming drink driving sentencing.
Mr McClung also allegedly on July 9 threatened to kill Mr Maguire and his children in a conversation with supervisor Nick Shirtcliffe because Mr Maguire refused to give him a $100 cash advance on his holiday pay.
Later that day Mr Maguire fired Mr McClung upon seeing him at the service station, allegedly saying "I'm sick of your f***ing texts mate. I've got enough s*** going on already... Pick up your holiday pay on Monday and f*** off. There's no more work..."
Mr Maguire offered Mr McClung more work 10 days later but the offer was refused and Mr McClung lodged his employment claim instead.
Employment Relations Authority member Robin Arthur said Mr McClung's conduct and behaviour clearly needed to be addressed by Mr Maguire, "potentially even to the level of dismissal".
But he said a fair and reasonable employer needed to launch a disciplinary process which gave Mr McClung an opportunity to explain himself, and possibly apologise, and consider what to do with an open mind.
Failure to do this meant dismissing Mr McClung on the spur of the moment was unjustified, Mr Arthur said.Mr McClung was awarded $3348 in lost wages and $6000 for humiliation but the amounts were cut by a third to $2232 and $4000 because his texts and demands contributed to the problem.
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