When the hot chips are down . . .
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.
Nice and easy: Shakedown winners Markus Jenny, left, and Jack Evans, right, with Steve Shikker, centre.