When the hot chips are down . . .

Central Otago Mirror - - WANAKA NEWS -

An ar­gu­ment over hot chips has led to a Queen­stown bar worker re­coup­ing $8317 in lost wages and com­pen­sa­tion.

Ni­co­lette Gladding was bar man­ager at the Glenorchy Lodge when her boss Gra­ham Dun­stan got ‘‘quite angry’’ be­cause she was go­ing to fry up some chips for peo­ple at the bar.

He was drink­ing at the bar, when the in­ci­dent hap­pened Septem­ber 7 last year. Shout­ing at her, he told her he was not about to feed peo­ple who ear­lier had been drink­ing at com­pet­ing bars.

Gladding con­ceded be­cause Dun­stan was angry but told him: ‘‘I will talk to you about this when you haven’t been drink­ing.’’

She said Dun­stan then let back in a pa­tron who Gladding had ear­lier ousted from the bar for mak­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate com­ments.

Gladding re­acted by re­plac­ing her name with Dun­stan’s as duty man­ager on the no­tice board. In Dun­stan’s view he was ‘‘ne­go­ti­at­ing a de­par­ture with­out fur­ther in­ci­dent’’ in relation to the pa­tron.

The fol­low­ing week, Gladding lost her shifts. Dun­stan told her she was a ca­sual worker and he was not fir­ing her but in­stead giv­ing her shifts when he needed her. When asked why, he said it was be­cause of the chips in­ci­dent.

Lof­tus said in his judge­ment Dun­stan ‘‘wanted rid’’ of Gladding after the in­ci­dent. He said Gladding was not a ca­sual worker but a part-time em­ployee as she con­sis­tently worked the same shifts and hours.

Lof­tus judged it an un­jus­ti­fied and con­struc­tive dis­missal, award­ing Gladding $5317 in lost earn­ings and $3000 com­pen­sa­tion.

Photo: SUP­PLIED

Nice and easy: Shake­down win­ners Markus Jenny, left, and Jack Evans, right, with Steve Shikker, cen­tre.

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