What can go wrong? Personal Grievances Legal Process Mediation ERA Employment Court Who can help?
Personal Grievance grounds Breach of contract Loss of wages
Unjustified dismissal o Constructive dismissal Unjustified disadvantage Discrimination Sexual harassment Racial harassment Duress over union membership
Serious misconduct Must be a good reason Must follow fair procedures
Whether the employer’s actions, and how the employer acted, were what a fair and reasonable employer could have done in all the circumstances at the time the dismissal or action occurred.
Sufficient investigation Raised concerns before action Reasonable opportunity to respond Genuinely considered employee’s explanation
David is employed as a secretary at Files and Things Inc. David used to have bleached hair but his new manager Georgina gave him a written warning about his appearance, and he dyed it a natural colour. This week, Georgina criticised the way David was talking to clients and told him to “smarten up your act or you’ll be out of here”. David has tried to be more polite to clients but he is unsure what brought on Georgina’s criticism. Yesterday, Georgina handed David a final written warning and a dismissal letter. The reason she gave for the dismissal was that “your appearance and attitude are not well-suited to an office environment”. Does David have grounds for a personal grievance? What are these?
Check employment agreement Raise it Who is it against? 90 Days Outline basis for grievance Outline solutions
Reinstatement Lost wages Hurt and humiliation Written reference Agreement not to speak ill of each other Apology
Dear Georgina, I just wanted you to know that I intend to raise a Personal Grievance. The way you have treated me is completely crap and very unfair and you should not have fired me like you did. Can we meet to discuss this on Monday at 9am? Please give me a call on (04) 499 2928 to arrange this. Regards David What is missing from this personal grievance?
Talking to employer Mediation Employment Relations Authority Employment Court
Cheap and quick Stay on topic o Notes Support person Stay calm Leave if necessary
Don’t need a lawyer o Support person or people may be useful Identify issues, points of agreement, find solutions Can record settlements o Binding and confidential Can reach alternative arrangements Department of Labour: 0800 20 90 20
Don’t need a lawyer File a statement of problem o Facts causing problem o Steps take to try and solve problem e.g. mediation o What resolution you would like o Other relevant documents o ERA website: www.era.govt.nzwww.era.govt.nz Preliminary conferences The investigative meeting
Lawyer advisable Stricter rules of evidence Re-do entire case 28 days
Human Rights Commission Labour inspectors o Minimum entitlements o DoL: 0800 20 90 20
Your Community Law Centre Other local services Department of Labour o 0800 20 90 20 o www.dol.govt.nz www.dol.govt.nz Employment Relations Authority o www.era.govt.nz www.era.govt.nz o 04 915 9550 Support person
This presentation was put together by: Wellington Community Law Centre PO Box 24005, Wellington 6142 (04) 499 2928 firstname.lastname@example.org www.wclc.org.nz Please feel free to download, adapt, improve, distribute, remix, tweak and build upon this presentation. Disclaimer: We’ve made every effort has been made to ensure this information is correct at the time of publication. However, we can’t take responsibility for errors or omissions. Teachers and learners may need to seek specific advice for your particular situation. Where appropriate, we urge you to do so. Visit your local Community Law Centre: www.communitylaw.org.nz THANK YOU